Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

It is my great pleasure to thank a number of people and institutions for their support in the research, writing, and publication of this book. I am grateful for the efforts and insights of LeAnn Fields, Christopher Dreyer, the staff at the University of Michigan Press, and the Class: Culture series editors, Amy...

Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-17

The doctor sat patiently with a revolver in his hand. His seat was familiar, one that he had taken frequently over the past few days. It faced the front door of his apartment, which he had barricaded with chains and a piano. Dr. L. C. Zeigler did not live in a dangerous area, but on May 1, 1921, his neighborhood...

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1. Politicizing Consumption in the Community: Middle-Class Consumer Organizing during the Progressive Era and World War I

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pp. 18-34

On September 20, 1918, Helen R. Kenealy, the wife of an accountant, and volunteer for the Los Angeles branch of the U.S. Food Administration, reported a “flagrant evasion of the rules of the Food Administration.” According to Kenealy, a woman entered her office and requested a permit for 50 to...

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2. Becoming Producers and Avoiding the Middleman: Home Garden and Municipal Market Campaigns

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pp. 35-67

In the summer of 1919, an individual only identifying himself as F. G. B. called on the government to take action against “rank profiteering” of food throughout Los Angeles. Writing to the editors of the Los Angeles Times, he lamented, “Last year we ‘middle class’ could buy a pound of fine cherries for...

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3. The “Flying Squadron” Declares War on the Profiteers: The High Cost of Living Division and Federally Sponsored Middle-Class Consumer Organizing

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pp. 68-94

In the summer of 1919, journalist Frederic Haskin proclaimed that without immediate action from the federal government to lower the price of wearing apparel, “the buying public” would stage a “revolt” and the country would undergo a “panic.” One cloak and suit manufacturer, who was interviewed for Haskin’s article...

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4. A Nation in Overalls: Middle-Class Clothing Boycotts

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pp. 95-127

On April 29, 1920, the Reverend New Harris of St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma, performed not one, but two, weddings. On the surface, the “double header” of ceremonies seemed far from unusual. It was the culmination of two classic war romances. The first couple, Parker Watson...

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5. Rent War!: Middle-Class Tenant Organizing

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pp. 128-153

Post–World War I Chicago took on many different meanings for its increasingly diverse citizenry. It was a center of progressive reform, home to a tradition of political corruption, a site of labor unrest, a destination for immigrants from eastern Europe and African American workers, and a city undergoing a...

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Epilogue: Toward a “Middle Class Union”

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pp. 154-170

Even before the Dailey Commission returned its findings, Chicago tenants attempted to broaden their organization. The CTPA was a tenants’ organization, but a number of its members had also protested the high prices of other commodities, whether by donning overalls and scorning profiteering of...

Appendix

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pp. 171-172

Notes

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pp. 173-210

Index

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pp. 211-220