Our Own Time

Our Own Time:A History of American Labor and the Working Day

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“Crucial reading … for all those who have ever punched a clock.” —International Labor and Working Class History

Our Own Time retells the story of American labor by focusing on the politics of time and the movements for a shorter working day. It argues that the length of the working day has been the central issue for the American labor movement during its most vigorous periods of activity, uniting workers along lines of craft, gender and ethnicity. The authors hold that the workweek is likely again to take on increased significance as workers face the choice between a society based on free time and one based on alienated work and unemployment.


  • This definitive study of the working day shows how workers defined the reality of their lives and reshaped our concept of time.

    George P. Rawick
  • This groundbreaking book ... is crucial reading not only for labor historians but for all those who have ever punched a clock.

    Elizabeth McKillenInternational Labor and Working Class History
  • Roediger and Foner show us once again that people want to work to live, not live to work.

    James Green