About Reo Joe...
Welcome to the Reo Joe web-site. This website supports
the materials featured in the book, The Story of
Reo Joe: Work, Kin, and Community in Autotown , U.S.A.
Philadelphia , PA : Temple University Press, 2004
between pages 33 and 36. It was the editors' decision
to make these maps and the supporting information
available on a website instead of in the book itself.
If you would like more information about the book
or ordering information, please check out the Temple
University Press website at: www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/1651_
About the book:
The Reo Motor Car Company operated in Lansing , Michigan
, for seventy years, and encouraged its thousands
of workers to think of themselves as part of a factory
family. Reo workers, most typically white, rural,
native-born Protestant men, were dubbed Reo Joes.
These ordinary fellows had ordinary aspirations:
job security, decent working conditions, and sufficient
pay to support a family. They treasured leisure time
for family activities (many sponsored by the company),
hunting, and their fraternal organizations. Even
after joining a union, Reo Joes remained loyal to
the company and proud of the community built around
Lisa M. Fine tells the Reo story from the workers'
perspective on the vast social, economic, and political
changes that took place in the first three quarters
of the twentieth century. She explores their understanding
of the city where they lived, the industry that employed
them, and the ideas about work, manhood, race, and
family that shaped their identities. The Story
of Reo Joe is, then, a book about historical
memory; it challenges us to reconsider what we think
we know about corporate welfare, unionization, de-industrialization,
and working-class leisure.
About the author
Lisa M. Fine is Associate Professor
of History at Michigan State University . She is
the author of Souls of the Skyscraper: Female
Clerical Workers in Chicago, 1870-1930 ( Temple
), and coeditor, with Mary Anderson, Kathleen Geissler,
and Joyce Ladenson, of Doing Feminism: Teaching
and Research in the Academy . Her e-mail address