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Kevin Boyle

The Sensibility of Agency

In one of my graduate seminars this week,* we discussed Thomas Sugrue’s brilliant Origins of the Urban Crisis, a case-study of post-war Detroit that challenges various familiar narratives about “urban decay.”  Alongside Sugrue’s work we read Kevin Boyle’s article, “The Kiss: Racial and Gender Conflict in a 1950s Automobile Factory” (Journal of American History, vol. 84, no. 2, Sep. 1997).  These are works of social history — and very good ones at that.  But any and every work of history is always already a philosophy of history instantiated on the page.  So all history belongs to intellectual history. There. I’ve Read more