Issues of Labor

Labor 9.3 (Fall, 2012)

In This Issue

The Common Verse

  • Adam Matcho, “Why I Deserve a Raise


  • Shelton Stromquist, “‘Occupying’ Public Space and the Fight for Historical Memory

Contemporary Affairs

  • Jennifer Luff, “Introduction
  • Paul Adler, James Ploeser, Vasudha Desikan, Heather Booth, and Dorian Warren, “Learning from Occupy: A DC Roundtable

    This issue’s Contemporary Affairs section is a roundtable discussion of the Occupy Wall Street movement, held in Washington, DC, in December 2011. Moderated by historian-activist Paul Adler, the discussion combines reflections by full-time Occupiers James Ploeser and Vasudha Desikan with veteran grassroots organizer Heather Booth and engaged political scientist Dorian Warren. Together, they explore the sources, popular appeal, and likely future direction of a movement that challenged the complacency of the American Left but as yet has an uncertain legacy.


  • Eric Arnesen, “Introduction

    Timothy Messer-Kruse’s The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age (2011) provides ample grist for a larger discussion of Gilded Age labor, radicalism, and the contemporary system of justice. Messer-Kruse’s close examination of the full trial testimony and his twinned conclusions that there was likely a conspiracy to commit violence among the accused and that most of the guilty verdicts should be considered “fair” by the standards of the day are two aspects that set his treatment apart from others. While generally giving the author credit for changing the grounds of the Haymarket debate, our own jury remains skeptical. Richard Schneirov returns to the scene of the crime with his own lawyer-like disputation of the guilty verdicts. Kevin Boyle cautions against using courtroom testimony “with such assurance.” Beverly Gage regrets the lack of larger context, including the viciousness of reactions aimed at the larger labor movement and the radicals themselves. Comparing Haymarket to the Rodney King and O. J. Simpson trials, Janice L. Reiff likewise points to key elements of reception that are left out of Messer-Kruse’s account. In conclusion, the author treats his critics with clemency.

  • Richard Schneirov, “Still Not Guilty
  • Kevin Boyle, “The Truth of the Matter
  • Beverly Gage, “Trial Scoop, Insufficient Scope
  • Janice L. Reiff, “What’s on Trial?
  • Timothy Messer-Kruse, “Response


  • Andre J. Alves and Evan Roberts, “Rosie the Riveter’s Job Market: Advertising for Women Workers in World War II Los Angeles

    In this article, the authors examine classified advertising for employment in Los Angeles during World War II. There is no prior research on the role of classified advertising in wartime labor markets, despite the importance of World War II to narratives of change in women’s work in the United States. In contrast to the iconic Rosie the Riveter advertisements, which promoted change in women’s occupations, classified advertisements show important continuities with pre- and postwar labor markets. The majority of advertisements for women workers were for domestic service or clerical work, not defense production. Classified advertisements continued to be functional, emphasizing wages and working conditions, and made little explicit reference to the patriotic importance of the war.

  • Jonathan Hagood, “Unidad Médica: Physicians’ Unions and the Rise of Peronism in 1930s – 1950s Buenos Aires