Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality

Eric Arnesen, Author
Eric Arnesen, Author Harvard University Press $60 (352p) ISBN 978-0-674-00319-4
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Since their inception nearly two centuries ago, railroads have provided black men (and some women) with steady employment. Paradoxically, though many track layers, porters, brakemen, firemen, waiters and redcaps were able to make a good living, the railroad industry was one of the most institutionalized forms of racism in the U.S. (e.g., blacks were legally represented by the same unions that forbade them membership), maintains Eric Arnesen, professor of history at the University of Illinois. Brotherhood of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality is Arnesen's exhaustive and illuminating work of scholarship. ( Feb.)
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