Social History, U.S./Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Social History, U.S..
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  • Berthoff, Rowland. An Unsettled People: Social Order and Disorder in American History (1979)
  • Cayton, Mary K et al, eds. Encyclopedia of American Social History (3 vol 1993), comprehensive guide, and a good place to begin
  • Jones, Jacqueline. A Social History of the Laboring Classes: Colonial to the Present (1999) 224pp excerpt and text search
  • Nugent, Walter Structures of American Social History 1981, stress on demography online edition
  • Zunz, Olivier, ed. Reliving the Past: The Worlds of Social History 1985 online edition


  • Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America 1998
  • Bonomi, Patricia U. Under the Cape of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America. 1986.
  • Bushman, Richard L. From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765 1967.
  • Demos, John. A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony (1964) (ISBN: 0195013557)
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. 1991. ISBN 0195069056
  • Hofstadter, Richard. America at 1750 (1971)
  • Innes, Stephen ed, Work, and Labor in Early America 1988.
  • Kulikoff, Allan. From British Peasants to Colonial American Farmers 2000 online edition
  • Kulikoff, Allan. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800 1986; Marxist
  • Encyclopedia of the North American Colonies. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993. 3 vols.
  • Greven, Philip. Four Generations: Population, Land, and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts
  • Lockridge, Kenneth. A New England Town: The First Hundred Years. Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636-1736 1970.
  • Main, Gloria L. Tobacco Colony: Life in Early Maryland, 1650-1720 1983.
  • Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 1982.


  • Beard, Charles and Mary. The Rise of American Civilization (1927)
  • Bledstein, Burt. The Culture of Professionalism: the Middle Class and the Development of Higher Education in America (1976)
  • Clark, Christopher. Social Change in America: From the Revolution Through the Civil War. 2006. 352 pp.
  • Clark, Christopher. "Household Economy, Market Exchange and the Rise of Capitalism in the Connecticut Valley, 1800-1860" Journal of Social History, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Winter, 1979), pp. 169-189 in JSTOR
  • Genovese, Eugene. Roll Jordan Roll (1976), the most influential study of slavery
  • Merrill, Michael. "Putting 'Capitalism' in Its Place: A Review of Recent Literature," The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 52, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 315-326 in JSTOR
  • Sellers, Charles. The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846 (1991), influential synthesis online edition
  • Thomas G. West, Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America (1997)
  • Wilentz, Sean. The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (2005), scholarly synthesis emphasizing class politics


  • Cohen, Lizabeth. Consumer's Republic, Knopf, 2003, ISBN 0375407502. Historical analysis of the working out of class in the United States.
  • Coontz, Stephanie. The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (1993)
  • Frankel, Noralee, and Nancy S. Dye eds Gender, Class, Race, and Reform in the Progressive Era (1991) online edition
  • Lipset, Seymour Martin. American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword (1997)
  • McGerr, Michael. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920 (2003)

Era of globalization


See also Frontier Thesis

  • Billington, Ray Allen. America's Frontier Heritage (1984). Analysis of Turner's theories.
  • Hofstadter, Richard. The Progressive Historians—Turner, Beard, Parrington. (1969), focus on class analysis

Urban, Local and Ethnic Studies

  • Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (1994)
  • Emmons, David M. The Butte Irish: Class and Ethnicity in an American Mining Town, 1875-1925 (1990)
  • Guglielmo, Thomas A. White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945 (2003)
  • McKiven, Henry M. Iron and Steel: Class, Race, and Community in Birmingham, Alabama, 1875-1920 (1995)
  • Monkkonen, Eric Henry. America Becomes Urban: The Development of U.S. Cities and Towns, 1780-1980 (1988) complete text online free
  • Stansell, Christine. City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860 (1987) excerpt and text search
  • Toll, William. The Making of an Ethnic Middle Class (1982), Jews in Portland Oregon
  • Warner, Sam Bass, Jr. The Urban Wilderness: A History of the American City. (1972, rev ed. 1995) online edition


  • Burton, Orville Vernon. In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (1985) excerpt and text search
  • Campbell, Randolph B. "Planters and Plain Folks: The Social Structure of the Antebellum South," in John B. Boles and Evelyn Thomas Nolen, eds., Interpreting Southern History(1987), 48-77;
  • Cecil-Fronsman, Bill. Common Whites: Class and Culture in Antebellum North Carolina (1992)
  • Flynt, J. Wayne Dixie's Forgotten People: The South's Poor Whites (1979). deals with 20th century
  • Genovese, Eugene. Roll Jordan Roll (1974) highly influential study of slavery excerpt and text search
  • Newby, I. A. Plain Folk in the New South: Social Change and Cultural Persistence, 1880-1915 (1989). concentrates on the poorest whites
  • Williams, David. Rich Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley (1999) excerpt and text search

Labor Studies


Stratification and Social mobility

  • Blau, Peter, and Otis D. Duncan, The American Occupational Structure (1967) classic study of structure and mobility; advanced quantitative sociology
  • Featherman, David L. and Robert M. Hauser, Opportunity and Change (1978), advanced quantitative sociology
  • David B Grusky. ed. Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective (2001) scholarly articles
  • Michael D. Grimes, Class in Twentieth-Century American Sociology: An Analysis of Theories and Measurement Strategies (1991)
  • Hazelrigg, Lawrence E., and Joseph Lopreato; Class, Conflict, and Mobility: Theories and Studies of Class Structure 1972.
  • Lichter, Daniel T. "Poverty and Inequality among Children' Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 23, 1997 online edition
  • Payne, Geoff. The Social Mobility of Women: Beyond Male Mobility Models (1990)
  • Reissman, Leonard. Class in American Society (1960), textbook online edition
  • Warner, W. Lloyd Social Class in America: A Manual of Procedure for the Measurement of Social Status (1949) online edition
  • Wright, Erik Olin ed. Approaches to Class Analysis (2005)Marxist essays articles

Images of class

  • Burke, Martin J. The Conundrum of Class: Public Discourse on the Social Order in America (1995), intellectual history
  • Harold J. Bershady, ed. Social Class and Democratic Leadership: Essays in Honor of E. Digby Baltzell (1989)
  • Diggins, John Patrick. Thorstein Veblen: Theorist of the Leisure Class (1999)
  • Eichar; Douglas M. Occupation and Class Consciousness in America Greenwood Press, 1989
  • Fantasia, Rick, Rhonda F. Levine, Scott G. McNall, eds. Bringing Class Back in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives Westview Press. 1991
  • Fussell, Paul. Class (a painfully accurate guide through the American status system), 1983. ISBN 0-345-31816-1
  • Ostrander; Susan A. Women of the Upper Class Temple University Press, 1984
  • Marmot, Michael. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity 2004
  • Vanneman, Reeve, and Lynn Cannon. The American Perception of Class (1984)
  • Wunderlin, Clarence E. Visions of a New Industrial Order: Social Science and Labor Theory in America 's Progressive Era (1992)

Class politics

  • Archer, Louise, et al. Higher Education and Social Class: Issues of Exclusion and Inclusion RoutledgeFalmer. 2003
  • Brooks, Clem, and Jeff Manza. "Class Politics and Political Change in the United States, 1952-1992," Social Forces, Vol. 76, 1997 online edition
  • Brooks, Clem, and David Brady. "Income, Economic Voting, and Long-Term Political Change in the U.S., 1952-1996," Social Forces, Vol. 77, 1999 online edition
  • Evans, Geoffrey. The End of Class Politics? Class Voting in Comparative Context (1999) online edition
  • Manza, Jeff, and Clem Brooks; Social Cleavages and Political Change: Voter Alignments and U.S. Party Coalitions Oxford University Press, 1999 online edition
  • Manza, Jeff; "Political Sociological Models of the U.S. New Deal" Annual Review of Sociology, 2000 pp 297+ online edition

Primary sources

  • Binder, Frederick M., and David M. Reimers, eds. The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History 1492-1877 (2004); The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History: 1865-Present (2003)
  • Keil, Hartmut, and John B Jentz, eds. German Workers in Chicago: A Documentary History of Working-Class Culture from 1850 to World War I (1988), primary sources (in English translation)
  • McElvaine, Robert S. ed, Down & Out in the Great Depression: Letters from the "Forgotten Man" (1983)