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Troublemakers Power, Representation, and the Fiction of the Mass Worker by William Scott
  

Troublemakers Power, Representation, and the Fiction of the Mass Worker

Part of the The American Literatures Initiative Series

Synopsis

Troublemakers Power, Representation, and the Fiction of the Mass Worker by William Scott

William Scott's Troublemakers explores how a major change in the nature and forms of working-class power affected novels about U.S. industrial workers in the first half of the twentieth century. With the rise of mechanization and assembly-line labor from the 1890s to the 1930s, these laborers found that they had been transformed into a class of mass workers who, since that time, have been seen alternately as powerless, degraded victims or heroic, empowered icons who could rise above their oppression only through the help of representative organizations located outside the workplace. Analyzing portrayals of workers in such novels as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle , Ruth McKenney's Industrial Valley , and Jack London's The Iron Heel, William Scott moves beyond narrow depictions of these laborers to show their ability to resist exploitation through their direct actions-sit-down strikes, sabotage, and other spontaneous acts of rank-and-file troublemaking on the job-often carried out independently of union leadership. The novel of the mass industrial worker invites us to rethink our understanding of modern forms of representation through its attempts to imagine and depict workers' agency in an environment where it appears to be completely suppressed.

Reviews

Unfailingly provocative, this is an intelligent book noteworthy for its refusal to be mired in old approaches and its consequent ability to break new ground in the study of both working class fiction and the more general relationship of factory and artistic production. --David Roediger University of Illinois (03/18/2011)

Troublemakers is an entirely commanding and engrossing study of the new forms of workers
control and representation that modern mass

-industrial work made available rich and strange in archive, theoretically fresh and creative, historically acute. --Eric Lott University of Virginia (08/18/2011)

Troublemakers is an entirely commanding and engrossing study of the new forms of workers
control and representation that modern mass

-industrial work made available--rich and strange in archive, theoretically fresh and creative, historically acute. --Eric Lott University of Virginia (08/18/2011)


About the Author

WILLIAM SCOTT is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. His articles have appeared in a number of journals, including Callaloo, MLN, and American Literature.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th November 2011

Author

William Scott

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Publisher

Rutgers University Press

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Categories

Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
Literary studies: from c 1900 -

ISBN

9780813551906

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