Work in America
An Encyclopedia of History, Policy, and Society
by Carl E. Van Horn and Herbert A. Schaffner, Editors
December 2003, 741pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-676-7
$201, £155, 175€, A276
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-677-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Work. It’s the key to our daily survival and the source of humankind’s greatest achievements, from poetry to pyramids to political systems. When we drastically change the way we work—as we did during the Industrial Revolution and as we’re doing again in the Information Age—we set in motion forces that restructure societies around the globe, alter basic human relationships, and even transform our physical environment.

The first comprehensive analysis of work and the workforce in the United States, from the Industrial Revolution to the era of globalization.

This comprehensive two-volume reference book is the first to analyze the central role of work and the workforce in U.S. life from the Industrial Revolution through today’s information economy. Drawing on a variety of disciplines—economics, public policy, law, human and civil rights, cultural studies, and organizational psychology—its 256 entries examine key events, concepts, institutions, and individuals in labor history. Entries also tackle tough contemporary questions that reflect the conflicts inherent in capitalism. What is the impact of work on families and communities? On minority and immigrant populations? How shall we respond to changing work roles and the growing influence of the transnational corporation?

Work in America describes and evaluates attempts to address social and class issues—affirmative action, occupational health and safety, corporate management science, and trade unionism and organized labor—and offers the kind of comprehensive understanding needed to discover workable solutions.


  • 256 A–Z entries on topics ranging from to income gaps and wages
  • An impressive array of expert contributors representing labor history, labor economics, labor law, welfare and social policy, human resource management, women's history, media studies, political science, workforce development, and employment policy
  • Extensive historiography of U.S. labor and industrial relations
  • End-of-entry bibliographies of references for further research
Carl E. Van Horn is professor of public policy and director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. He has published 12 books and more than 125 articles and reports about workforce, labor, employment, and economic issues.

Herbert A. Schaffner is director of marketing, communications, and publications at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. He is the coauthor of A Nation at Work: The Heldrich Guide to the American Workforce.


"It is always a pleasure to handle a well-produced, accessible reference source, and this is an outstanding example . . . this work will fill an information need in large public and academic libraries."—Booklist, May 1, 2004

"Highly recommended. Undergraduates."—Choice, June 1, 2004

"This two-volume encyclopedia provides a comprehensive portrait of work and the workforce in the United States as a cross-disciplinary subject. . . . recommended for high school, junior college, and undergraduate institutions and public libraries."—American Reference Books Annual, March 1, 2005
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