The Politics of Brutality: The Right, Labor, and the Making of a New Gilded Age – Jean-Christian Vinel – History Seminar

Posted on February 21, 2022

21 February 2022 - 17 h 30 min - 19 h 00 min

Jean-Christian Vinel : The Politics of Brutality: The Right, Labor, and the Making of a New Gilded Age

This session was initially scheduled on January 17th 2022.

Reaction At Work: The Right, Labor, and the Making of the New Gilded Age, 1935-2008 argues that the time is ripe for a new interpretation of the history of American labor. Over the last few years, increasing economic disparities and the rising clamor of economic populism in the Midwest have alerted progressives and liberals to the political consequences of the withering of labor unions, leading to a reappraisal of their role in shaping public policy. Paradoxically, however, there is no book tracing the long decline of labor unions and connecting it to the larger pattern of American political history. A fresh history of American labor, Reaction At Work fills this gap by putting the anti-union movement from the Gilded Age onward at the center of the narrative. Wide in scope and particularly attentive to transnational dynamics, The Reaction illuminates the intellectual, cultural, racial as well as political mechanisms that led to the victory of the anti-union movement in the private sector.


History Seminar

This research group is devoted to the history and politics of English-speaking countries, using methodological tools from social, intellectual and cultural history to ask questions about political identities and political subjectivities, and about the interconnectedness of politics and everyday life. History is understood in a longue durée, with scholars working on the 17th century to the 21st century. The aim of our group is stimulate interdisciplinary research across the social sciences and develop work cutting across time periods, questioning the nature of an ‘English-speaking’ world and its boundaries and looking at its links to the wider world.

The group’s research is organised around five main themes:

  1. The Atlantic World and the first age of globalization, 1600-1850
  2. Migrations, discriminations, ethnic and racial inequalities
  3. International policies and diplomatic networks in the Anglophone worlds
  4. Constructing national identities and national myths
  5. Democracy, democratisation and politicization in North America and the United Kingdom

The group has close connections with the research group on gender and the different transversal groups (Writing history from the margins;  popular classes ; material culture) which stem from the History group.

Reading group

In early 2021, the LARCA history* research group launched a reading group. Co-organised by Laura Carter and John-Erik Hansson, it gives LARCA members an opportunity to engage collectively with new research in the modern history of the English-speaking world(s)** (18th-21st centuries). The reading group convenes four times a year (twice per term), with each session focusing on one book.


Stéphanie Prévost