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Claiming the City wins IHLA Book of the Year

Verso Books21 February 2024

Claiming the City wins IHLA Book of the Year

Shelton Stromquist has been awarded the The International Labor History Association's 2023 Book of the Year award for Claiming the City: A Global History of Workers' Fight for Municipal Socialism. From The International Labor History Association's press release:

The International Labor History Association (ILHA) is pleased to announce the 2023 “Book of the Year Award” for labor history. The winning volume is Claiming the City: A Global History of Workers’ Fight for Municipal Socialism, by Shelton Stromquist (NY: Verso, 2023). Other books on labor history that earned the 2023 ILHA “Honorable Mention” designation are mentioned below.


Professor Stromquist writes an elegant history of workers’ struggles for municipal socialism from the 1880’s to the 1920’s. Tracing the early rise of cities and urban governance along with labor conflicts and working-class politics, Stromquist builds a credible foundation for his well-documented look at municipal socialism appearing in the United States, Australia, Austria, Britain, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Sweden.


The socialist reconstruction of urban communities is examined in the multiple contexts of nationalism, race, gender, and war. From the Great War (1914-1918) and subsequent demise of the Second International, to the growth of localism, nationalism, political parties, and internationalism, Stromquist brings to life the fights of workers, unions, and socialists for a more humane municipal government. Convincingly analyzed are the wartime politics in Britain, the conscription-opposition in the United States, the war and post-war struggles in German cities, as well as the post-war rise of “Red Vienna.”


Documentation through extensively helpful footnotes, period photographs, and maps provide a fine foundation for Stromquist’s arguments concerning the construction of “humane urban cities by workers and socialists.” Documented as well is the building of massive infrastructure, advanced healthcare, sanitation, education, and housing in various urban settings. Many of the achievements have been passed down to the generations following their advent.


Stromquist has impressively rescued from historical oblivion the signal achievements, defects, struggles, and constructive legacy of municipal socialism, highlighting the roles of workers, their labor leadership and labor allies.



Further details can be found here.

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Claiming the City
Winner of the International Labor History Association (ILHA) 2023 Book of the Year Award for labor historyFor more than a century, municipal socialism has fired the imaginations of workers fighting...