Skip to Content

The Homestead Strike

Labor, Violence, and American Industry

By Paul Kahan

Routledge – 2014 – 166 pages

Series: Critical Moments in American History

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $29.95
    978-0-415-53194-8
    December 14th 2013
  • Add to CartHardback: $135.00
    978-0-415-53193-1
    December 13th 2013

Description

On July 6, 1892, three hundred armed Pinkerton agents arrived in Homestead, Pennsylvania to retake the Carnegie Steelworks from the company's striking workers. As the agents tried to leave their boats, shots rang out and a violent skirmish began. The confrontation at Homestead was a turning point in the history of American unionism, beginning a rapid process of decline for America’s steel unions that lasted until the Great Depression.

Examining the strike’s origins, events, and legacy, The Homestead Strike illuminates the tense relationship between labor, capital, and government in the pivotal moment between Reconstruction and the Progressive Era. In a concise narrative, bolstered by statements from steelworkers, court testimony, and excerpts from Carnegie's writings, Paul Kahanintroduces students to one of the most dramatic and influential episodes in the history of American labor.

Reviews

The events that occurred in Homestead, Pa. in 1892 shaped labor relations and impacted the experience of the next two generations who worked on the factory floors and walked the picket lines. This readable history provides the context for understanding the strike and gives voice to the individuals whose decisions determined its outcome.

Anne P. Madarasz, Museum Division Director, Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh

The Homestead lockout and strike forever changed the landscape of American labor relations. While it is often the violence of the day that brings people to the story, the real narrative is one that was years, if not decades in the making. It is this vitally important "back story," the lead up to the battle and its aftermath, as well as the lessons of the day that are so well presented by Dr. Kahan. He allows the reader to wrap their arms around the facts and to grasp the true context of the events that, to this day, still have a lasting impact on our culture.

Ron Baraff, Director of Museums and Archives, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area

"…this is a welcome, classroom-ready survey, entertaining and accessible to students. Summing Up: Recommended."

--G.A. Lancaster in Choice

Contents

Introduction. 1. Carnegie and Frick 2. American Labor History, 1600-1892 3. Lead-Up to the Strike 4. The Lockout and Strike 5. Aftermath 6. Legacy and Conclusion. Documents.

Author Bio

Paul Kahan teaches history at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. For more information, visit his website at www.paulkahan.com.

Name: The Homestead Strike: Labor, Violence, and American Industry (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Paul Kahan. On July 6, 1892, three hundred armed Pinkerton agents arrived in Homestead, Pennsylvania to retake the Carnegie Steelworks from the company's striking workers. As the agents tried to leave their boats, shots rang out and a violent skirmish...
Categories: The Gilded Age/Progressive Era, Labor History, American History, Labor Unions, Legal History