International Labor and Working-Class History


Rosemary Aris, Trade Unions and the Management of Industrial Conflict. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998. vi + 201 pp. $65.00 cloth.

Timothy Eccles a1
a1 Kingston University


While it is clearly ridiculous to judge a book by its cover, the title as a signpost does offer a realistic description of the book. Aris is indeed concerned with trade unions and their management of conflict—the use of the ideologically loaded term in this context being well chosen. Less immediate are other parameters of the work: It concerns Great Britain, the state's management of conflict, and the period 1910–1921. The validity of these parameters is partially explained and partially assumed, but I think those within the field of labor history will recognize them as an acceptable balance between scope and length. The work does not seek to serve any particular sectional interests and their relationships with trade unions. I found the focus acceptable, indeed warranted, and Aris develops a useful (if not flawless) contribution to the literature.