posts and bio Mark Lause

Mark Lause is a Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati. Author of 10 books, including most recently Free Labor The Civil War and the Making of an American Working Class, published in 2015 by the University of Illinois Press and Free Spirits: Spiritualism, Republicanism, Radicalism published in 2016 by University of Illinois Press.


Comrades & Cowboys

by on September 30, 2014

In 1886, several prominent European socialists came through Cincinnati in search of insights into America. Their local comrades–“delightful German-American friends” took them to a local dime museum. There, a showman introduced cowboys with “stereotyped speeches about them,” as his subjects lounged about “in their picturesque garb, and looking terribly bored.” Then, one of the cowboys, “singularly handsome face and figure, with the frankest of blue eyes, rose and spoke a piece.

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A Memorial Day Exercise by Mark Lause

by on May 26, 2014

A few years back, I got to visit the grave of an uncle buried overseas. He had been happily married to a wonderful wife and had two great little kids when he got his draft notice and reluctantly left to wind up in France in 1944.

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Remember a President for Free Labor

by on February 15, 2014

Reflections about the importance of workers power in American aspirations seem particularly appropriate at the approach of this President’s Day–that holiday formed by the compressed birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  In my life, I cannot recall when they’ve ritually chanted their rhetoric about opportunities in circumstances as dire as these for working people.

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The Power of a Labor Movement

by on August 2, 2013

The Plenary session of the New York conference of LAWCHA featured an impressive panel of speakers, ticking off a succession of depressing observations about the state of the labor movement, and suggesting some issues and ideas for improving it. We heard little discussion as to why AFL-CIO officialdom has failed to take up any of the good ideas and issues.

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