On July 24, 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and his band of about 50 soldiers and fur trappers landed on the banks of the Detroit River and built Fort Pontchartrain. The village of Detroit became the fur trading capital of North America, tempting thousands of immigrants from around the globe. Showcased in nearly 200 photographs is the continued legacy of working class struggle in the Midwest's "Union Town."
Detroit has always been a haven for the working class. Headquartering the most powerful industrial union in American history, the UAW, the city's labor movements have had the power to influence national urban and social policy. Captured here are Detroit's nationally recognized labor campaigns, from the first sit-downs of 1937, to the powerful unions inspired by the radical philosophies of Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther. Through the contribution of arms and tanks to World War II, to the devastating decline of the unions in the 1970s and '80s, the photographs here capture the multitude of races and faces that made Detroit one of America's greatest industrial cities, and the world's undisputed Motor City.
About the Author
Author Mike Smith is the primary reference archivist at Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University, and a labor historian, writer, and lecturer. Thomas Featherstone is the reference archivist for the library's audio-visual department, and an expert in labor photography.
Thomas Featherstone is the reference archivist for the library's audio-visual department, and an expert in labor photography.