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Feurer, Rosemary

PERSONAL:

Education: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, Ph.D., 1997.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History, Northern Illinois University, Zulauf Hall 715, DeKalb, IL 60115-2854. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic and historian. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, associate professor of history. Worked in media and labor activism.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Richard L. Wentworth Illinois Prize for Best Book, 2007, for Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950.

WRITINGS:

Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 2006.

Also contributor to books, including We Are All Leaders, edited by Stanton Lynd, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1996; The CIO's Left-led Unions, edited by Steven Rosswurm, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1992; and Labor's Cold War: Local Politics in a Global Context, edited by Shelton Stromquist, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 2008. Author of historical booklets, including St. Louis Labor History Tour and Remember Virden, 1898. Contributor to periodicals and academic journals, including Reviews in American History, OAH Convention Supplement-OAH Newsletter, Communicator, Gateway Heritage, Victorian Studies, and Illinois History Teacher. Writer and director of film Mother Jones: America's Most Dangerous Woman, 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Rosemary Feurer is an academic and historian. She earned a Ph.D. in 1997 from Washington University, St. Louis. Feurer entered a career in academia, eventually becoming an associate professor of history at DeKalb's Northern Illinois University. Her research interests encompass labor issues and conflicts of American capitalist development from the nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. Feurer's research focus also includes radicalism in the United States, social protest movements, and how various groups attempt to suppress these movements. At Northern Illinois University, she teaches courses in a number of American historical periods and also lectures on labor and class issues in the United States.

Feurer has written a few historical booklets. With support from the Illinois Humanities Council, she wrote Remember Virden, 1898. The booklet, which she edited, compiled articles for, and contributed to, had around 3,000 copies produced and distributed. She also wrote St. Louis Labor History Tour with assistance from the Missouri Humanities Council, which saw over 2,000 copies distributed. Feurer has contributed to a number of periodicals and academic journals, including Reviews in American History, OAH Convention Supplement-OAH Newsletter, Communicator, Gateway Heritage, Victorian Studies, and Illinois History Teacher.

Feurer published her first book, Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950, in 2006. The study looks into District Eight of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America and the radical union that was set up. Focusing on both national and international specters, Feurer shows how the Communist president of District Eight, William Sentner, was able to organize and activate unemployed and low-class workers to make workforce demands that were previously unknown in the country but ultimately led the way for reform in labor unions across the country. She also pays close attention to the role of employers and workers at small companies in shaping the history of the New Deal era, a topic that is usually overlooked or slighted.

A contributor to Reference & Research Book News wrote that Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950 "is also notable in that it explores unionization at the ‘independent’ companies" as opposed to mainstream companies that have already been extensively studied. Bart Dredge, reviewing the book in the Canadian Journal of History, called the account "fascinating." Dredge concluded that "the story of the UE, told in an engaging and lively way by … Feurer, has much to teach those interested in American labour history from a distance, and especially those interested in the potential for meaningful labour and community alliances today. This work is an excellent contribution to the growing literature in American labour history, and Feurer joins others who help define that history through the careful analysis of a single example of worker organizing and employer resistance."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, February 1, 2008, Beth T. Bates, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950, p. 200.

Business History Review, spring, 2007, Tami J. Friedman, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950, p. 159.

Canadian Journal of History, spring, 2007, Bart Dredge, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950.

Journal of American History, June 1, 2007, Edward P. Johanningsmeier, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950, p. 303.

Journal of Illinois History, spring, 2007, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950.

Journal of the Research Group on Socialism and Democracy, March 21, 2008, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950.

Journal for the Study of Radicalism, July, 2008, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950.

Labor History, August 1, 2007, Andrew E. Kersten, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950, p. 393.

Labor Studies Journal, June 1, 2007, Aaron Goings, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950, p. 219.

Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2007, review of Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950.

ONLINE

Northern Illinois University, Department of History Web site,http://www.niu.edu/history/ (June 12, 2008), author profile.

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Feurer, Rosemary

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