Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Eric Arnesen  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: in Brooklyn, New York

-- Website --
-- Eric Arnesen on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Eric Arnesen is a Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Chicago Illinois campus.

Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Waterfront Workers of New Orleans: Race, Class, and Politics, 1863-1923
ISBN: 0252063775

University of Illinois Press. 1994

"During the nineteenth century, American and foreign travelers often found New Orleans a delightful, exotic stop on their journeys few failed to marvel at the riverfront, the center of the city's economic activity. . . . But absent from the tourism industry's historical recollection is any reference to the immigrants or black migrants and their children who constituted the army of laborers along the riverfront and provided the essential human power to keep the cotton, sugar, and other goods flowing. . . . In examining one diverse group of workers--the 10,000 to 15,000 cotton screwmen, longshoremen, cotton and round freight teamsters, cotton yardmen, railroad freight handlers, and Mississippi River roustabouts--this book focuses primarily on the workplace and the labor movement that emerged along the waterfront."--From the preface

Labor Histories: Class, Politics, and the Working-Class Experience (Working Class in American History)
ISBN: 0252024079

University of Illinois Press. 1998

Is class outmoded as a basis for understanding labor history? This significant new collection emphatically says No! Touching on such subjects as migrant labor, religion, ethnicity, agricultural history, and gender, these thirteen essays by former students of David Montgomery -- a preeminent leader in labor circles as well as in academia -- demonstrate the sheer diversity of the field today.

Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality
ISBN: 0674008170

Harvard University Press. 2002

From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution―the story of African Americans on the railroad.

African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership.

Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century.

Black Protest And The Great Migration.
ISBN: 0312294611

Palgrave Macmillan. 2009


In 2005, Eric Arnesen received the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism from the Society of Midland Authors for “distinguished literary criticism.”

Speaking Engagements

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