The General Motors Strike of 1936-1937
With a New Foreword by Kim Moody
Sidney Fine
Studies the most significant American labor conflict of the 20th century


In this classic study, Sidney Fine portrays the dramatic events of the 1936–37 Flint Sit-down Strike against General Motors, which catapulted the UAW into prominence and touched off a wave of sit-down strikes across the United States. Basing his account on an impressive variety of manuscript sources, Fine analyzes the strategy and tactics of GM and the UAW, describes the life of the workers in the occupied plants, and examines the troubled governmental and public reaction to the alleged breakdown of law and order in the strikes. In addition, Fine provides vivid portraits of the major figures on both sides of the conflict: Governor Frank Murphy, Alfred Sloan, Jr., William Knudsen, Robert Travis, Roy, Victor, and Walter Reuther, Homer Martin, and Wyndham Mortimer. The GM sit-down strike marks the close of one era of labor-management relations in the United States and the beginning of another. A half century after its initial publication, Fine’s work remains the definitive account of that momentous conflict. A new foreword by Kim Moody’s revisits Sit-Down in order to demonstrate its continued relevance to today’s unions, workers, and activists.
Sidney Fine was Andrew Dickson White Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and the author of numerous books and articles.

Praise / Awards

  • “Fine has meticulously documented what was perhaps the most important strike in American history . . . a splendid story [and] an excellent reminder of the persistence of certain types of political and social behavior. Rewarding and provocative.”
    The Nation
  • “Sidney Fine’s Sit-Down: The General Motors Strike of 1936–1937 is . . . an example of scrupulous, liberal scholarship at its best . . . . It also makes for quite exciting reading.”
    New York Times Book Review
  • Sit-Down is everything that a work of historical scholarship should be. It is impeccably organized, is drawn from an exhaustive examination of primary sources, exhibits the author’s balanced judgment, and is written with clarity and a certain grace.”
    Labor History

Product Details

  • 482 pages.
  • 19 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2020
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-12716-0

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