Philip Taft Labor History Book Award

The Philip Taft Labor History Book Award is sponsored by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in cooperation with the Labor and Working-Class History Association for books relating to labor history of the United States. Labor history is considered "in a broad sense to include the history of workers (free and unfree, organized and unorganized), their institutions, and their workplaces, as well as the broader historical trends that have shaped working-class life, including but not limited to: immigration, slavery, community, the state, race, gender, and ethnicity." The award is named after the noted labor historian Philip Taft (1902–1976).


Source: ILR School, Cornell University

  • 1978 – David M. Katzman for Seven Days a Week: Women and Domestic Service in Industrializing America
  • 1979 – August Meier and Elliott Rudwick for Black Detroit and the Rise of the UAW
  • 1980 - no award made
  • 1981 – James A. Gross for Reshaping of the National Labor Relations Board: A Study in Economics, Politics, and the Law
  • 1982 – co-winners: Alice Kessler-Harris for Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States; and Howell John Harris for The Right to Manage: Industrial Relations Policies of American Business in the 1940s
  • 1983 – Walter Licht for Working for the Railroad
  • 1984 – co-winners: Paul Avrich for The Haymarket Tragedy; and Robert Zieger for Rebuilding the Pulp and Paper Workers' Union, 1933–1941
  • 1985 – Jacqueline Jones for Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present
  • 1986 – Alexander Keyssar for Out of Work: The First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts
  • 1987 – Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, James Leloudis, Robert Korstad, Mary Murphy, Christopher B. Daly, and Lu Ann Jones for Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World
  • 1988 – Alan Derickson for Workers' Health, Workers' Democracy: The Western Miners Struggle, 1891–1925
  • 1989 – co-winners: Joshua Freeman for In Transit: The Transport Workers Union in New York City, 1933–1966; and Philip Scranton for Figured Tapestry: Production, Markets and Power in Philadelphia Textiles, 1855–1941
  • 1990 – Lizabeth Cohen for Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919–1939
  • 1991 – Steve Fraser for Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor
  • 1992 – Douglas Flamming for Creating the Modern South: Millhands and Managers in Dalton, Georgia, 1884–1984
  • 1993 – Peter Way for Common Labour: Workers and the Digging of North American Canals, 1780–1860
  • 1994 – Eileen Boris for Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the U.S.
  • 1995 – Robert Zieger for The CIO, 1935–1955
  • 1996 – Thomas J. Sugrue for The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit
  • 1997 – Sanford M. Jacoby for Modern Manors: Welfare Capitalism Since the New Deal
  • 1999 – Joseph McCartin for Labor's Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, 1912–1921
  • 2000 – Jefferson R. Cowie for Capital Moves: RCA's 70-Year Quest for Cheap Labor
  • 2001 – Gunther Peck for Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880–1930
  • 2002 – Alice Kessler-Harris for In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th Century America
  • 2003 – Nelson Lichtenstein for State of the Union: A Century of American Labor
  • 2004 – co-winners: Frank Tobias Higbie for Indispensable Outcasts: Hobo Workers and Community in the American Midwest, 1880–1930; and Robert Korstad for Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South
  • 2005 – Dorothy Sue Cobble for The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America
  • 2006 – James N. Gregory for The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America
  • 2007 – Nancy MacLean for Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace
  • 2008 – Laurie B. Green for Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle
  • 2009 - co-winners: Thavolia Glymph for Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household; and Jana K. Lipman for Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution
  • 2010 - Seth Rockman for Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore
  • 2011 - James D. Schmidt for Industrial Violence and the Legal Origins of Child Labor
  • 2012 - Cindy Hahamovitch for No Man's Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor
  • 2013 – co-winners: Matt Garcia for From the Jaws of Victory: The Triumph and Tragedy of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement; and Kimberley Phillips for War! What Is It Good For?: Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq
  • 2014 - Matthew L. Basso for Meet Joe Copper: Masculinity and Race on Montana’s World War II Home Front
  • 2015 - Sven Beckert for Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Knopf)
  • 2016 - co-winners: Nancy Woloch for A Class by Herself: Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s-1990s; and Talitha L. LeFlouria for Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South
  • 2017 - LaShawn Harris for Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy
  • 2018 - Sarah F. Rose for No Right to Be Idle: The Invention of Disability, 1840s-1930s
  • 2019 - co-winners: Peter Cole (Historian) for Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area; and Joshua Freeman for Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World
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