This collection represents the thirty-year intellectual trajectory of one of today’s leading historians of gender and labor in the United States. The seventeen essays are divided into four sections, narrating the evolution and refinement of Alice Kessler-Harris's central project: showing gender’s fundamental importance in the shaping of United States history and working class culture.
The first section considers women and organized labor while the second pushes this analysis toward a gendered labor history as the essays consider the gendering of male as well as female workers and how gender operates with and within the social category of class. Subsequent sections broaden this framework to examine U.S. social policy as a whole, the question of economic citizenship, and wage labor from a global perspective. While each essay represents an important intervention in American historiography in itself, the collection taken as a whole shows Kessler-Harris continuing to push the field of American history to greater levels of inclusion and analysis.