In “Running the Rails,” James Wolfinger uses the history of Philadelphia’s sprawling public transportation system to explore how labor relations shifted from the 1880s to the 1960s. As transit workers adapted to fast-paced technological innovation to keep the city’s people and commerce on the move, management sought to limit its employees’ rights. Raw violence, welfare capitalism, race-baiting, and smear campaigns against unions were among the strategies managers used to control the company’s labor force and enhance corporate profits, often at the expense of the workers’ and the city’s well-being. This book offers readers a different, historically grounded way of thinking about the people who keep their cities running.
James Wolfinger is Professor of History and Education at DePaul University. He is the author of "Philadelphia Divided: Race and Politics in the City of Brotherly Love."
Description courtesy of Cornell University Press.