Mobility in America

Mobility in America

The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880- 1970, by Stephan Thernstrom. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 345 pp.

For more than a decade Stephan Thernstrom has been studying patterns of social mobility among American workers in the 19th and 20th centuries, in order to understand “Why the American working class did not form a mass radical party or develop a revolutionary ideology.” Thernstrom’s work, particularly Poverty and Progress (1964), along with that of his former collaborator Peter, Knights, has shown that we can learn much about the American working class by using computers to process data from the manuscript censuses, city directories, and tax records.

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