Besides the slavery issue, one of the major tes of American life in the years preceding the Civil War was created by the Industrial Revolution. It produced remarkable social and industrial upheavals which were repugnant to an astonishingly large numbers of Americans. Despite national prosperity, industrial workers suffered severe losses of ecomic status and independence; in protests grounded in religion and politics, they sought to hold on to what they had, and later to win material gains. Mr. Ware's illuminating book analyzes the conditions which brought on the Industrial Revolution, and traces and interprets the labor struggles that developed in response to the factory system.
As a teacher and writer, Norman Ware enjoyed a distinguished career in economics and social science, and wrote several books on American labor. Thomas Dublin is Professor of History at the State University of New York at Binghamton and the author of Women at Work and Farm to Factory.