Philip Taft Labor History Book Award

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The Philip Taft Labor History Book Award is sponsored by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in cooperation with the Labor and Working-Class History Association for books relating to labor history of the United States. Labor history is considered "in a broad sense to include the history of workers (free and unfree, organized and unorganized), their institutions, and their workplaces, as well as the broader historical trends that have shaped working-class life, including but not limited to: immigration, slavery, community, the state, race, gender, and ethnicity." The award is named after the noted labor historian Philip Taft (1902–1976).


Source: ILR School, Cornell University

  • 1978 – David M. Katzman for Seven Days a Week: Women and Domestic Service in Industrializing America
  • 1979 – August Meier and Elliott Rudwick for Black Detroit and the Rise of the UAW
  • 1980 - no award made
  • 1981 – James A. Gross for Reshaping of the National Labor Relations Board: A Study in Economics, Politics, and the Law
  • 1982 – co-winners: Alice Kessler-Harris for Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States; and Howell John Harris for The Right to Manage: Industrial Relations Policies of American Business in the 1940s
  • 1983 – Walter Licht for Working for the Railroad
  • 1984 – co-winners: Paul Avrich for The Haymarket Tragedy; and Robert Zieger for Rebuilding the Pulp and Paper Workers' Union, 1933–1941
  • 1985 – Jacqueline Jones for Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present
  • 1986 – Alexander Keyssar for Out of Work: The First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts
  • 1987 – Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, James Leloudis, Robert Korstad, Mary Murphy, Christopher B. Daly, and Lu Ann Jones for Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World
  • 1988 – Alan Derickson for Workers' Health, Workers' Democracy: The Western Miners Struggle, 1891–1925
  • 1989 – co-winners: Joshua Freeman for In Transit: The Transport Workers Union in New York City, 1933–1966; and Philip Scranton for Figured Tapestry: Production, Markets and Power in Philadelphia Textiles, 1855–1941
  • 1990 – Lizabeth Cohen for Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919–1939
  • 1991 – Steve Fraser for Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor
  • 1992 – Douglas Flamming for Creating the Modern South: Millhands and Managers in Dalton, Georgia, 1884–1984
  • 1993 – Peter Way for Common Labour: Workers and the Digging of North American Canals, 1780–1860
  • 1994 – Eileen Boris for Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the U.S.
  • 1995 – Robert Zieger for The CIO, 1935–1955
  • 1996 – Thomas J. Sugrue for The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit
  • 1997 – Sanford M. Jacoby for Modern Manors: Welfare Capitalism Since the New Deal
  • 1999 – Joseph McCartin for Labor's Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, 1912–1921
  • 2000 – Jefferson R. Cowie for Capital Moves: RCA's 70-Year Quest for Cheap Labor
  • 2001 – Gunther Peck for Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880–1930
  • 2002 – Alice Kessler-Harris for In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th Century America
  • 2003 – Nelson Lichtenstein for State of the Union: A Century of American Labor
  • 2004 – co-winners: Frank Tobias Higbie for Indispensable Outcasts: Hobo Workers and Community in the American Midwest, 1880–1930; and Robert Korstad for Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South
  • 2005 – Dorothy Sue Cobble for The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America
  • 2006 – James N. Gregory for The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America
  • 2007 – Nancy MacLean for Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace
  • 2008 – Laurie B. Green for Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle
  • 2009 - co-winners: Thavolia Glymph for Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household; and Jana K. Lipman for Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution
  • 2010 - Seth Rockman for Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore
  • 2011 - James D. Schmidt for Industrial Violence and the Legal Origins of Child Labor
  • 2012 - Cindy Hahamovitch for No Man's Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor
  • 2013 – co-winners: Matt Garcia for From the Jaws of Victory: The Triumph and Tragedy of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement; and Kimberley Phillips for War! What Is It Good For?: Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq
  • 2014 - Matthew L. Basso for Meet Joe Copper: Masculinity and Race on Montana’s World War II Home Front
  • 2015 - Sven Beckert for Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Knopf)
  • 2016 - co-winners: Nancy Woloch for A Class by Herself: Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s-1990s; and Talitha L. LeFlouria for Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

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