Social History

Routledge is one the world’s leading publishers of history journals and books, with a wealth of research on social history appearing every year. This collection draws together a small sample of that scholarship and conveys the diversity of our content.

Enjoy browsing - the articles are free to view until April 2015.

Crime and Violence

Crime and the Rise of Modern America: A History from 1865–1941

Kristofer Allerfeldt

'In an engaging, fast-paced narrative, Allerfeldt explores the marrow of American culture through the brashness, audacity, opportunism, and ruthlessness of American criminals from the end of the Civil War to the nation's entry in World War II. … Allerfeldt provides an accessible and interesting portrait of industrial America and the crimes and scandals that gripped the nation between Appomattox and Pearl Harbor. – Jeffrey S. Adler (University of Florida), H-Net Reviews


The American Middle Class: A Cultural History

Lawrence R Samuel

'Finally, a book about the history of the American middle class that is attentive to the way Americans actually used–and fought over–the term “middle class”! Samuel elegantly synthesizes the history of the United States from World War II to the present through arguably its most important lens. His book is especially valuable in its careful treatment of the black middle class.'

– Robert D. Johnston, author of The Radical Middle Class

The Cultural History Reader

Peter McCaffery, Ben Marsden

The book provides a detailed and accessible introduction to cultural history as a discipline, outlining how it has developed since the eighteenth century and where it differs from related disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and archaeology. The Cultural History Reader is a perfect resource for all students of cultural history and all those interested in how focusing on cultural factors has shaped our understanding of the past.

Ethnicity and Migration

Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America

Kimberly Jade Norwood

In Color Matters, Kimberly Jade Norwood has collected the most up-to-date research on this insidious form of discrimination, including perspectives from the disciplines of history, law, sociology, and psychology. Anchored with historical chapters that show how the influence and legacy of slavery have shaped the treatment of skin color in American society, the contributors to this volume bring to light the ways in which colorism affects us all—influencing what we wear, who we see on television, and even which child we might pick to adopt. 

From Selma to Montgomery: The Long March to Freedom

Barbara Harris Combs

'With admirable insight, Barbara Combs nicely frames and examines the great significance of the Selma campaign. She not only places this high point of the Civil Rights Movement into an historical context but equips us to understand the ripple effects of this ‘moment in time,’ especially as relevant to the quality of contemporary American citizenship and the franchise.'

– Todd C. Shaw, author of Now is the Time! Detroit Black Politics and Grassroots Activism

Migration in World History

Patrick Manning

Drawing on examples from a wide range of geographical regions and thematic areas, noted world historian Patrick Manning guides the reader through the various leading theories and debates surrounding the subject of migration.

Gender and Sexuality

Groundswell: Grassroots Feminist Activism in Postwar America

Stephanie Gilmore

Groundswell: Grassroots Feminist Activism in Postwar America offers an essential perspective on the post-1960 movement for women’s equality and liberation. Tracing the histories of feminist activism, through the National Organization of Women (NOW) chapters in three different locations: Memphis, Tennessee, Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco, California, Gilmore explores how feminist identity, strategies, and goals were shaped by geographic location.

Women and Gender in Modern Latin America

Pamela S. Murray

'Those of us who teach the history of women and gender in Latin America have needed this book for a long time. Pamela Murray has paired engaging and accessible primary materials with supporting secondary literature representing both the classical writings and the latest historiography in the field. I look forward to using it in my classes.'

– Christine Ehrick, author of The Shield of the Weak: Feminism and the State in Uruguay, 1903-1933

Women in European Culture and Society

Deborah Simonton

'A wonderful collection, giving students access to over 200 sources by and about European women from c.1700, and highlighting the rich diversity of their experiences. Particularly valuable is the large selection of materials from countries often omitted in European sourcebooks.' - Elizabeth Ewan, University of Guelph, Canada


The Birth of Industrial Britain: 1750-1850, 2nd Edition

Kenneth Morgan

The Birth of Industrial Britain examines the impact of early industrialisation on British society in the century before 1850, coinciding with Britain’s transition from a late pre-industrial economy to one based on industrialisation and urbanisation

The Homestead Strike: Labor, Violence, and American Industry

Paul Kahan

Examining the strike’s origins, events, and legacy, The Homestead Strike illuminates the tense relationship between labor, capital, and government in the pivotal moment between Reconstruction and the Progressive Era. In a concise narrative, bolstered by statements from steelworkers, court testimony, and excerpts from Carnegie's writings, Paul Kahanintroduces students to one of the most dramatic and influential episodes in the history of American labor.

Work and Struggle: Voices from U.S. Labor Radicalism

Paul Le Blanc

'Even a cursory look at work in the 21st century tells us that we live in radical times.Work and Struggle is a collection of poignant writings from some of the greatest radical thinkers of the last two centuries – and required reading for anyone interested in how movements might develop in our own radical times.' - Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School

Rural and Urban

The American Urban Reader

Steven H. Corey, Lisa Krissoff Boehm

Lisa Krissoff Boehm and Steven H. Corey together bring thirty-five years of classroom experience in urban studies and history, and have selected a range of work that is dynamically written and carefully edited to be accessible to students and appropriate for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of how American cities have developed.