Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era (Working Class in American History) (Hardcover)

Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era (Working Class in American History) Cover Image
Special Order—Subject to Availability


A century ago, governments buoyed by Progressive Era-beliefs began to assume greater responsibility for protecting and rescuing citizens. Yet the aftermath of two disasters in the United States-Canada borderlands--the Salem Fire of 1914 and the Halifax Explosion of 1917--saw working class survivors instead turn to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members for succor and aid. Both official and unofficial responses, meanwhile, showed how the United States and Canada were linked by experts, workers, and money. In Disaster Citizenship, Jacob A. C. Remes draws on histories of the Salem and Halifax events to explore the institutions--both formal and informal--that ordinary people relied upon in times of crisis. He explores patterns and traditions of self-help, informal order, and solidarity and details how people adapted these traditions when necessary. Yet, as he shows, these methods--though often quick and effective--remained illegible to reformers. Indeed, soldiers, social workers, and reformers wielding extraordinary emergency powers challenged these grassroots practices to impose progressive "solutions" on what they wrongly imagined to be a fractured social landscape. Innovative and engaging, Disaster Citizenship excavates the forgotten networks of solidarity and obligation in an earlier time while simultaneously suggesting new frameworks in the emerging field of critical disaster studies.

About the Author

Jacob A. C. Remes is an assistant professor of public affairs and history at the Metropolitan Center of SUNY Empire State College. He is a winner of the Herbert G. Gutman prize from the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the Eugene A. Forsey Prize from the Canadian Committee on Labour History.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780252039836
ISBN-10: 0252039831
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication Date: December 30th, 2015
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: Working Class in American History (Hardcover)

Membership Benefits


 Gift cards can be used online or in-store.

Gift Card