New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 1994. Discusses the labour disputes that convulsed the post-Civil War South.
This book examines social, political, and cultural conflicts opened by the abolition of slavery and the fashioning of wage relations in the era of the American Civil War. It offers a new, close look at the origins, goals, and tactics of popular political clubs created by emancipated workers in the countryside of one of the Deep South's oldest plantation states. The Work of Reconstruction draws on a rich documentary record that allowed ex-slaves to express in their own words and behavior the aspirations and goals that underlay their efforts. Not satisfied to render freed men and women as objects of theoretical inquiry, this book vividly recovers the concrete practices and language in which ex-slaves achieved freedom and the expectations that they had of liberty.
Table of Contents
Part I. Freedom versus Freedom: Competing
Visions of Emancipation: 1. Antebellum field
slaves' labor: regional overviews
2. Twilight of slavery, dawn of freedom
3. 'Rebels' and 'rebels in disguise'
Part II. A Measure of Freedom: Plantation
Workers and the Wartime Introduction of Wage
Labor in Port Royal: 4. Eluding the
5. Inducing wage labor behind federal lines
6. Wartime planting
7. 'A dollar a task'
8. 'As hard times as they has see with the
Part III. Restoration and Reaction: The
Struggle for Land in the Sherman Reserve: Part
IV. The Reconstruction of Work: 9. Remaking
family life and labor in the interior
10. Control of the crop
11. Control of supplemental plots
12. Working on shares
13. Holding onto land and time in the low
14. Uncertain harvests: seasonalization of
Part V. The Work of Reconstruction: 15. Light
16. 'Why can't we be friends?'
17. 'There's a meeting here tonight'
18. 'A perfect system'?
19. 'On duty' in the league
20. 'We the laboring men out of doors'