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The Gritty Berkshires

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As The Gritty Berkshires makes clear, Massachusetts’ westernmost county is not just art museums, music festivals and beautiful scenery. For generations of working class families who have lived in the northern part of this county, their reality looks more like Rust Belt America.

Maynard Seider, an activist sociologist who has taught and researched in the area for more than three decades, places the history of the North Berkshire region in the context of U.S. and global history. Through the use of oral histories, union archives, newspaper accounts and participant observation, the author focuses on the 1,000 men who built the nation’s longest railroad tunnel, the thousands of men and women who worked in its textile mills and electronics factories and who struck, built worker co-ops, and community coalitions to improve their daily lives.

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