Daniel Clark, Oakland University

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Labor History Seminar
Friday, September 27, 2013

3 pm to 5 pm

B-84

“The Elusive Postwar Boom: Detroit Autoworkers in the 1950s”
Daniel Clark, Oakland University

This paper will draw on newspaper research that is part of a manuscript-in-progress on Detroit autoworkers from 1945-60. Interviews with more than 40 former autoworkers—white, black, male, and female—revealed consistent themes of economic insecurity and job instability, which generally run counter to our understanding of the era. I hoped that the newspaper research would either corroborate or contradict those findings. Overwhelmingly, the newspapers confirmed and amplified the themes of job instability and economic insecurity for Detroit-area autoworkers. No one at the time thought that the auto industry provided steady work and consistent incomes.

Commentator: Kevin Boyle, Northwestern University and Colleen Doody, DePaul University

Cost and registration information: 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.