An eye-opening first-hand account of life in a WWII shipyard from a woman's perspective
In 1942, Katherine Archibald, a graduate student at Berkeley, left the halls of academe to spend two years working in a nearby Oakland shipyard. She arrived with a host of preconceptions about the American working class, race relations and the prospect for their improvement, and wartime unity. Her experience working in a shipyard where women were seen as intruders, where "Okies" and black migrants from the South were regarded with barely-disguised hatred, and where trade unions preferred protecting their turf to defending workers' rights, threw much of her liberal faith into doubt.
Archibald's 1947 book about her experiences, Wartime Shipyard: A Study in Social Disunity, remains a classic account of life and labor on the home front. This new edition includes an introduction written by historians Eric Arnesen and Alex Lichtenstein, who explore Archibald's work in light of recent scholarship on women and African Americans in the wartime workplace.