51 episodes

Archivists and researchers at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs share stories from its collections about the American labor movement, metropolitan Detroit, and Wayne State University.

Tales from the Reuther Library Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

    • History
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Archivists and researchers at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs share stories from its collections about the American labor movement, metropolitan Detroit, and Wayne State University.

    From Bargaining Table to Diplomatic Table: Leonard Woodcock in China (Part 2)

    From Bargaining Table to Diplomatic Table: Leonard Woodcock in China (Part 2)

    After Leonard Woodcock stepped down as president of the UAW in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter sent him to Beijing as a diplomatic envoy and ultimately as the nation’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. In the second of a two-part interview, his wife Sharon Woodcock talks about Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the United States; Leonard Woodcock’s work after leaving the State Department, including his work on the Board of Governors of Wayne State University; and his support of the Reuther Library. UAW archivist Gavin Strassel discusses Leonard Woodcock’s archival collections at the Reuther Library and the unique, first-hand view they provide into the formation of modern China and U.S / China relations.

    Related Collections:

    Leonard Woodcock Papers

    Sharon Woodcock Oral History

    UAW President’s Office: Leonard Woodcock Records

    UAW Vice President’s Office: Leonard Woodcock Records

    Related Resources:

    Collection Spotlight: Leonard Woodcock Papers

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewer: Gavin Strassel

    Interviewee: Sharon Woodcock

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 41 min
    From Bargaining Table to Diplomatic Table: Leonard Woodcock in China (Part 1)

    From Bargaining Table to Diplomatic Table: Leonard Woodcock in China (Part 1)

    After Leonard Woodcock stepped down as president of the UAW in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter sent him to Beijing as a diplomatic envoy and ultimately as the nation’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. In the first of a two-part interview, his wife Sharon Woodcock talks about Leonard’s labor ideals and shares tales about their time in the ambassador’s residence, including his unusually close relationship with Deng Xiaoping, the leader and architect of modern China.

    Related Collections:

    Leonard Woodcock Papers

    Sharon Woodcock Oral History

    UAW President’s Office: Leonard Woodcock Records

    UAW Vice President’s Office: Leonard Woodcock Records

    Related Resources:

    Collection Spotlight: Leonard Woodcock Papers

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewer: Gavin Strassel

    Interviewee: Sharon Woodcock

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 41 min
    Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver

    Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver

    Historian Jane Little Botkin explains how Jane Street, a single mother, firebrand, and little-known IWW organizer, orchestrated a 1916 housemaids’ rebellion in Denver. To fight for better pay and working conditions in the elite Capitol Hill neighborhood, Street worked with—and later, despite—the IWW to blacklist and shame the area’s worst domestic employers, thereby disrupting the comfort and reputations of some of Denver’s most influential and powerful families.

    Author of The Girl Who Dared to Defy: Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver and Frank Little and the IWW: The Blood That Stained an American Family, Botkin has received two Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America, the Caroline Bancroft History Prize from the Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department, and the Best Historical Nonfiction Award from the Texas Association of Authors.

    Related Collections:

    Industrial Workers of the World Records

    Related Resources:

    Botkin, J.L. (2021). The Girl Who Dared to Defy: Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver. University of Oklahoma Press.

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewer: Dan Golodner

    Interviewee: Jane Little Botkin

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 46 min
    It’s Been a Year: Reuther Library Director Aliqae Geraci Recalls Her First Year on the Job During a Global Pandemic

    It’s Been a Year: Reuther Library Director Aliqae Geraci Recalls Her First Year on the Job During a Global Pandemic

    Aliqae Geraci explains that she had big plans when she became director of the Reuther Library a year ago, and those plans were immediately scuttled when her first day on the job coincided with the first day Wayne State University’s on-campus operations were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She describes how she and the Reuther pivoted in the past year to safely provide patrons virtual access to physical archival materials, and contemplates how the pandemic will and won’t change the Reuther’s services in the future. Geraci also shares how she became involved in labor libraries, and what she’s been binging during the pandemic.

    Related Resources:

    Meet Our New Director, Aliqae Geraci

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewer: Dan Golodner

    Interviewee: Aliqae Geraci

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 42 min
    Bootlegged Aliens: How Undocumented Immigrants from Canada in the 1920s Shaped American Immigration Policy

    Bootlegged Aliens: How Undocumented Immigrants from Canada in the 1920s Shaped American Immigration Policy

    Dr. Ashley Johnson Bavery explains how undocumented European immigrants coming over the Canadian border to work in the Detroit auto industry in the 1920s and 1930s spurred nativist discourse, influenced government policies toward illegal immigration, and shaped how business and labor unions used and positioned migrant labor. Dr. Bavery is Assistant Professor of History at Eastern Michigan University and author of Bootlegged Aliens: Immigration Politics on America’s Northern Border.

    Related Collections:

    AFL-CIO Metropolitan Detroit Records

    Joe Brown Papers

    Civil Rights Congress of Michigan Records

    Richard Frankensteen Papers

    International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit Records

    Henry Kraus Papers

    James Lindahl Papers

    Maurice Sugar Papers

    United Community Services Central Files

    Related Resources:

    Bavery, A.J. (2020). Bootlegged Aliens: Immigration Politics on America’s Northern Border. University of Pennsylvania Press.

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewer: Dan Golodner

    Interviewee: Ashley Johnson Bavery

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 44 min
    The Long Deep Grudge: How the Haymarket “Riot” of 1886 Evolved into a Bitter Battle Between the Farm Equipment Workers Union and International Harvester in the Mid-Twentieth Century

    The Long Deep Grudge: How the Haymarket “Riot” of 1886 Evolved into a Bitter Battle Between the Farm Equipment Workers Union and International Harvester in the Mid-Twentieth Century

    Labor historian Dr. Toni Gilpin explores how the McCormick family’s greed and union-busting in the late 19th century set the stage for a bitter battle between the International Harvester corporation and the radical Farm Equipment Workers union in the 1930s and 1940s. Although the union was absorbed by the United Auto Workers in 1955, Gilpin describes how the militancy bred into generations of International Harvester workers influenced UAW tactics into the 1970s.

    Dr. Gilpin’s book, The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland, received a Taft Labor History Award honorable mention award in 2020.

    Related Collections:

    UAW archival collections

    Related Resources:

    Gilpin, T. (2020). The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland. Haymarket Books.

    Episode Credits

    Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

    Interviewer: Dan Golodner

    Interviewee: Toni Gilpin

    Music: Bart Bealmear

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

KG Mich ,

such interesting stories

This is becoming one of my favorite podcasts. Every episode is so interesting, and it is amazing to see the nuanced and detailed histories people can pull out of old books and papers!

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