Lightner, David L. 1942–

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Lightner, David L. 1942–

(David Lee Lightner)

PERSONAL:

Born May 13, 1942, in Bethlehem, PA. Education: Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1963; University of Pennsylvania, A.M., 1964; Cornell University, Ph.D., 1969.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Chicago, assistant professor of history, 1969-70; St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, assistant professor, 1970-74; City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY, research assistant, 1974-75; University of Connecticut, Storrs, assistant professor, 1975-77; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, assistant professor, 1977-82, associate professor, 1982-2006, professor of history, 2006—.

MEMBER:

American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Economic History Association, Canadian Association of University Teachers.

WRITINGS:

Labor on the Illinois Central Railroad, 1852-1900: The Evolution of an Industrial Environment, Arno Press (New York, NY), 1977.

(Editor) Asylum, Prison, and Poorhouse: The Writings and Reform Work of Dorothea Dix in Illinois, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1999.

Slavery and the Commerce Power: How the Struggle against the Interstate Slave Trade Led to the Civil War, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Southern History, Journal of Supreme Court History, Journal of the Early Republic, Southern Studies, Canadian Review of American Studies, Civil War History, Illinois Historical Journal, Journal of Transport History, Mid-America, and Lincoln Herald.

SIDELIGHTS:

David L. Lightner's first book, Labor on the Illinois Central Railroad, 1852-1900: The Evolution of an Industrial Environment, is a revision of the Ph.D. dissertation that he submitted to Cornell University in 1969. The book explores the "day-to-day relations of workers and managers … [and] the way in which labor fit into the business environment," wrote Paul V. Black in Business History Review. "Lightner's study of the nineteenth-century Illinois Central is the first major published work to fill this gap." In the book, Lightner discusses many issues, including wages, promotion and discipline, based on surviving sources, mainly correspondence between top executives. Black noted the limitations of having only these sources but also noted that, despite these limitations, "the book shows evidence of painstaking research, a vivid writing style, and a lively personal involvement with the subject. It is a major contribution in a neglected area of business and labor history."

Asylum, Prison, and Poorhouse: The Writings and Reform Work of Dorothea Dix in Illinois is a collection of Dorothea Dix's writings. Dix was a nineteenth-century reformer who crusaded primarily for humane, hospitalized care for the mentally ill. In 1846, Dix focused on Illinois, presenting documents to the legislature that described the conditions at the state penitentiary at Alton, and urged the state body to establish a mental hospital. Many newspaper articles written by Dix during this time are collected in the volume. Lightner introduces each article and includes detailed notes. "Lightner successfully acquaints his readers with Dix the polemicist, reformer, and philanthropist," wrote Mary Ellen Curtin in the Times Literary Supplement. "He has edited three of Dix's most impassioned pleas for change and has written an incisive assessment of her mixed legacy."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Business History Review, summer, 1978, Paul V. Black, review of Labor on the Illinois Central Railroad, 1852-1900: The Evolution of an Industrial Environment, pp. 307-308.

Times Literary Supplement, October 15, 1999, Mary Ellen Curtin, review of Asylum, Prison, and Poorhouse: The Writings and Reform Work of Dorothea Dix, p. 37.