Anthologies of North American Working Class Writings / Oral Histories

Compiled by Cheryl Cline


This bibliography includes largely contemporary collections of working class writings, interviews, and oral histories.
If you have any additions or suggestions, send them to



  Andrews, William L., ed. Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Womenís Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986. 245pp. 

Andrews, William L. and Henry Louis Gates Jr., eds. The Civitas Anthology of African American Slave Narratives. Washington, D.C.: Civitas/Counterpoint, 1999. 642p.

Anzaldúa, Gloria, ed. Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras. Creative and Critical Perspectives by Women of Color. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1990. 402pp.

Atkin, S. Beth, ed. Voices From the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their stories. Interviews and photographs by S. Beth Atkin. Boston: Joy Street Books, 1993. 96p.

. Boyd, Jean Ann, ed. The Jazz of the Southwest: An Oral History of Western Swing. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998. 269p.

Buss, Frances Leeper, ed. Dignity: Lower Income Women Tell of Their Lives and Struggles. Oral Histories. Introduction by Susan Contratto. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1985. 290pp.

Byerly, Victoria, ed. Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls: Personal Histories of Women and Poverty in the South. As Told to Victoria Byerly. Introduction by Cletus F. Daniel. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986. 223pp.

. Carlsson, Chris with Mark Leger, eds. Bad Attitude: The Processed World Anthology. Designed by Chris Carlsson and Jocelyn Bergen. London and New York: Verso, 1990. 281p.

Carson, Robert, ed. The Waterfront Writers: The Literature of Work. New York: Harper & Row, 1979. 198pp.

Coelo, Art, ed. A Hard Row to Hoe: Writing From the Working People of Rural America. Big Timber, Montana: Seven Buffaloes Press, 1981 73p. [Black Jack No. 10]

Coles, Nicholas and Peter Oresick, eds. For a Living: The Poetry of Work. Urbana: University of Illinois Press

Coltelli, Laura, ed. Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press/Bison, 1990. 209pp.

Coyne, Kevin, ed. A Day in the Night of America. New York: Random House, 1992. 316p.



  Davis, Marilyn P., ed. Mexican Voices/American Dreams: An Oral history of Mexican Immigration to the United States. New York: H. Holt, 1990. 446p.

Delacosta, Frédérique and Priscilla Alexander, eds. Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry. San Francisco and Pittsburgh: Cleis Press, 1987. 349pp.

Dews, C.L. Barney and Carolyn Leste Law, eds. This Fine Place so Far from Home: Voices of Academics from the Working Class. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995. 341p.

Dublin, Thomas, ed. Farm to Factory: Womenís Letters, 1830-1860. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981. 191pp.

  Eisler, Benita, ed. The Lowell Offering: Writings by New England Mill Women (1840-1845). Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1977. 223p. Reprinted, New York: Norton, 1998.
  Foner, Philip S., ed. The Factory Girls: A Collection of Writings on Life and Struggles in the New England factories of the 1840's. By the factory girls themselves, and the story, in their own words, of the first trade unions of women workers in the United States. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977. 360p.


  Gates, Jr., Henry Louis, ed. Bearing Witness: Selections from African-American Autobiography in the Twentieth Century. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991. 385p.

Grumley, Michael, ed. After Midnight. Drawings by the author. New York: Scribner's, 1978. 210p.

  Henderson, Bruce Griffin, ed. Waiting: Waiters' True Tales of Crazed Customers, Murderous Chefs, and Tableside Disasters. New York: Plume/Penguin, 1995. 255p.

Hoffman, Nancy and Florence Howe, ed. Women Working: An Anthology of Stories and Poems. Illustrated by Ann Toulmin-Rothe. Old Westbury, N.Y.: Feminist Press, 1979. 271p.

Honey, Michael Keith, ed. Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle. University of California Press, 1999. 402p.

Hourwich, Andria Taylor, and Gladys L. Palmer, eds. I Am A Woman Worker: A Scrapbook of Autobiographies. New York: Affiliated School for Workers, 1936. 152pp. Facsimile reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1974. 152pp.



    Kahn, Kathy, ed. Hillbilly Women. Photographs by Al Clayton. Migrant photos by Franck Blechman, Jr. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1973. 230pp.

Kodama-Nishimoto, Michi, Warren S. Nishimoto and Cynthia A. Oshiro, ed. Hanahana: An Oral History of Hawaii's Working People. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984. 196p.

Kornbluh, Joyce L., ed. Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1964. 419p. New and expanded edition, Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1998. 447p.

  Lambert, Paul F. and Kenny A. Franks, eds. Voices From the Oil Fields. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984. 260p.

Lauter, Paul and Ann Fitzgerald, eds Literature, Class, and Culture: An Anthology. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 2001. 748p.

Linkon, Sherry Lee, ed. Teaching Working Class. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press

[Lowell Offering] Mind Amongst the Spindles: A Miscellany, Wholly Composed by the Factory Girls. Selected from the Lowell Offering. With an introduction by the English editor, and a letter from Harriet Martineau. Boston: Jordan, Swift & Wiley, 1845. 214p.

Lynd, Alice and Staughton Lynd, eds. Rank and File: Personal Histories by Working Class Organizers. Boston: Beacon Press,1973. 296pp. Illustrated ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981. 296pp.

Lynd, Alice and Staughton Lynd, eds. The New Rank and File. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000. 288pp. [An updated and expanded version of the above.]



  Madden, David, ed. Proletarian Writers of the Thirties. With a preface by by Harry T. Moore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1968. 278p.

Martin, Molly, ed. Hard-Hatted Women: Stories of Struggles and Success in the Trades. Seattle: Seal Press, 1988. 265pp.

Martz, Sandra, ed. If I Had a Hammer, Women's Work: In Poetry, Fiction, and Photographs. Watsonville, CA: Papier-Mache Press, 1990, 261p.

Michelson, Maureen R. and Michael R. Dressler, eds. Women & Work: Photographs and Personal Writings. Pasadena, Calif.: New Sage Press, 1986. 178p.

Mill Hunk Herald. Overtime: Punchin' Out with the Mill Hunk Herald Magazine, 1979-1989. Pittsburgh: Piece of the Hunk Publishers, 1990 207p.

Moore, Marat, ed. Women In the Mines: Stories of Life and Work. New York: Twayne Publishers; London: Prentice Hall International, 1996. 337p.

Moraga, Cherríe and Gloria Anzaldúa, ed. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Foreword by Toni Cade Bambara. Watertown, Mass.: Persephone Press, 1981. 261p. Second edtion, New York: Kitchen Table Press, 1983. 261p.

Murphy, Sheila E., John G. Sperling, and John D. Murphy, eds. Literature of Work: Short Stories, Essays, and Poems by Men and Women of Business. Phoenix: University of Phoenix Press, 1991. 314p.

Myerhoff, Barbara, ed. Number Our Days. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1978. 306pp. New York: Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, 1980. 306p.

    Nekola, Charlotte and Paula Rabinowitz, eds. Writing Red: An Anthology of American Women Writers, 1930-1940. Foreword by Toni Morrison. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1987. 349p.
  Oresick, Peter and Nicholas Coles, eds. Working Classics: Poems on Industrial Life. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990. 269p.
. Penelope, Julia, ed. Out of the Class Closet: Lesbians Speak. Freedom, Calif.: The Crossings Press, 1994. 481p.


  Raffo, Susan, ed. Queerly Classed: Gay Men & Lesbians Write About Class. Boston: South End Press, 1997. 

Reinhardt, Richard, ed. Workin' on the Railroad: Reminiscences from the Age of Steam. Edited with commentary. Palo Alto, Calif., American West Publishing Co. [1970] 318p.

Ross, Paula, ed. My Story's On! Ordinary Women/Extraordinary Lives: An Anthology. Berkeley, Calif.: Common Differences Press, 1985. 220p.

Ryan, Jake and Charles Sackrey , eds. Strangers in Paradise: Academics from the Working Class. Boston: South End Press, 1984. 322p. Reprinted, Lanham: University Press of America, 1996. 308p.

  Santiago Baca, Jimmy, ed. The Heat: Steelworker Lives and Legends. Mena, Ariz.: Cedar Hill Publications, 2001. 157p.

Santino, Jack, ed. Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle: Stories of Black Pullman Porters. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989. 160p.

Schorr, Thelma M. and Anne Zimmerman, eds. Making Choices, Taking Chances: Nurse Leaders Tell Their Stories. St. Louis: Mosby, 1988. 414p.

Schorr, Thelma M. and Maureen Shawn Kennedy, eds. 100 Years of American Nursing: Celebrating A Century of Caring. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers, 1999. 222p.

Schroedel, Jean Reith, ed. Alone in a Crowd: Women in the Trades Tell Their Stories. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1985. 268p.

Seiffer, Nancy, ed. Nobody Speaks for Me! Self-Portraits of American Working Class Women. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976. 477pp.

Seller, Maxine Schwartz, ed. Immigrant Women. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981. 347pp.

Sessions, Robert and Jack Wortman, eds. Working in America: A Humanities Reader. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992. 520p.

Sheth, Jagdish and David A. Heffner, eds. Voice with a Smile: True Stories from American Telephone Operators. Barrington, Ill.: PERQ Publications, 1993.

    Terkel, Studs, ed. Working: People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about What They Do. New York: Pantheon Books, 1972.

Terkel, Studs, ed. American Dreams, Lost and Found. . New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. 470p.

Thomas, Sherry, ed. We Didnít Have Much, But We Sure Had Plenty: Stories of Rural Women. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1981. 185pp. (Second edition subtitled "Rural Women in Their Own Words.")

Tokarczyk, Michelle M. and Elizabeth A. Fay, eds. Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993. 335p.

Tucker, Susan, ed. Telling Memories Among Southern Women: Domestic Workers and Their Employers in the Segregated South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988. Paperback ed. New York: Schocken Books and Toronto: Random House of Canada, 1988. 278pp.

  Villani, Jim and Naton Leslie, eds. Labor & the Post-Industrial Age. Youngstown, Ohio: Pig Iron Press, 1990. 128p.

Wallace, Terry, ed. Bloods, An oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans. New York: Random House, 1984. 311p.

Wayman, Tom, ed. Going for Coffee: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Working Poems. Madiera Park, British Columbia: Harbour Publishing, 1981. 209p.

Wayman, Tom, ed. A Government Job at Last: An Anthology of Working Poems, Mainly Canadian. Vancouver, BC: MacLeod Books, 1975. 176p.

Wayman, Tom, ed. Beaton Abbot's Got the Contract: An Anthology of Working Poems. Edmonton, Alberta: Newest Press, 1974 [?] 64p.

Wetherby, Terry, ed. Conversations: Working Women Talk about Doing a "Manís" Job. Millbrae, Calif.: Les Femmes, 1977. 269pp.

Wolf, Robert, ed. An American Mosaic: Prose and Poetry by Everyday folk. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 328p.

Wollner, Craig and W. Tracy Dillon, eds. A Richer Harvest: An Anthology of Work in the Pacific Northwest. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 1999. 276p.

Wray, Matt and Annalee Newitz, eds. White Trash: Race and Class in America. New York: Routledge, 1997.

    Zandy, Janet, ed. Liberating Memory: Our Work and Our Working Class Consciousness. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1995. 366pp.

Zandy, Janet, ed. Calling Home: Working Class Womenís Writings. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1990. 366pp.

Zandy, Janet, ed. What We Hold in Common: An Introduction to Working Class Studies. New York: Feminist Press, 2001. 336p.