The Public Humanist

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Still They Persisted: What a 105 Year Old Strike in Lawrence, MA Can Teach Us About Organization and Social Change

Suggesting that the 1912 strike started in a flash over a wage cut diminishes the contributions of the laborers—mostly women and immigrants—who built unity out of diversity.

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Rhetorical Shifts: Economic Liberty

John Gast’s American Progress, an allegory of Manifest Destiny that was widely disseminated in chromolithographic prints in the late 1800s.

The meanings of welfare and liberty changed significantly from the revolutionary era to the present. How did Adam Smith’s ethically-based concept of liberty come to be replaced with a no-holds-barred free market?

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Who are “We”?

We know rather little about the life stories of those we call “them”. More worrisome, what we claim to know often reflects a one-size-fits-all set of negative stereotypes that distances us from and reinforces a distrust and fear of those foreign born.

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Women and Labor in Poetry and Prose

It is not uncommon to hear of women who are carpenters or line workers being told on their first day by the foreman, “I will run you off of this job before this week is over.”

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Mill, Mountain, River: A Child’s View of Olde Coleraine

If you were a child living in Coleraine, Massachusetts, from 1840 to 1890, you would have been a witness to and a participant in America’s industrial revolution. Though the production of apples, honey, and maple syrup would continue to dominate the local farm economy, in 1828 Joseph Griswold, a native of Buckland, impressed by the industries he observed in the West, determined to create an industrial future for his family and community.

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Never Done: Women’s Work and Why it Matters

Women’s stories from the past aren’t easy to recover. Women left less evidence, different evidence, evidence that’s harder to find and often more challenging to interpret. And where they have been recovered, women’s stories have often been drowned out by male-focused narratives of national politics, commercial and industrial economies, and power in the public sphere.

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