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The coachmen of nineteenth-century Paris : service workers and class consciousness

Author: Nicholas Papayanis
Publisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Historical writings and art and literature of the period depict the coachmen of nineteenth-century Paris in a variety of ways - from unflinchingly honest to unspeakably rude to utterly criminal. In this captivating book, Nicholas Papayanis sets about to penetrate the popular image of the coachman and present a realistic picture of this frequently maligned segment of the Paris population.
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nicholas Papayanis
ISBN: 0807118141 9780807118146
OCLC Number: 27812677
Description: xvi, 247 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. The Structure of the Parisian Cab Industry --
2. The Police, Company Discipline, and the Coachman's Workday --
3. The Coachmen: A Statistical Profile --
4. The Cabbies of the CGV --
5. Unions and Newspapers in the Corporation of Parisian Coachmen --
6. Coachmen, International Expositions, and Strikes --
7. Coachmen and the Automobile.
Responsibility: Nicholas Papayanis.

Abstract:

Historical writings and art and literature of the period depict the coachmen of nineteenth-century Paris in a variety of ways - from unflinchingly honest to unspeakably rude to utterly criminal. In this captivating book, Nicholas Papayanis sets about to penetrate the popular image of the coachman and present a realistic picture of this frequently maligned segment of the Paris population.

On one level, The Coachmen of Nineteenth-Century Paris offers a definitive history of Paris cabbies, providing a sociological portrait of these workers, their backgrounds, marriage patterns, social networks, neighborhood choices, work experience, organizations, strikes, patterns of social mobility, response to technological change particularly the advent of the automobile and development of political and class consciousness.

Most coachmen had migrated to Paris from outlying regions of France, a fact that Papayanis uses to illuminate the broader theme of the social integration of rural inhabitants into urban life. On another level, the book deals with the economic and structural history of the Paris cab trade, describing its organization and regulation, the impact it felt from major events like the Paris Expositions of 1879 and 1889, and the effect of government efforts to unify the cab trade under a municipal monopoly.

Both as a focused investigation of urban service workers, hitherto unstudied in this period, and as an examination of transportation in the French capital during the era of the horse-drawn cab, the Coachmen of Nineteen the Century Paris is unparalleled.

Papayanis concentrates on midcentury and thereafter, for from that time more than merely anecdotal material on coachmen is especially abundant.

His research encompasses a remarkably broad range of sources, among them previously unexamined coachmen's newspapers, government statistical surveys, records of major cab companies, minutes of coachmen's union meetings, cab company contracts, and the private archives of the largest Parisian cab company of the nineteenth century, which include personnel files and the minutes of the company's executive committee.

Rich in detail though the book is, Papayanis has sculpted this treasure of information into a readily grasped form that is a delight to read.

The Coachmen of Nineteenth-Century Paris makes an important contribution to the fields of labor, social, urban, and transportation history. It fills a gap in the literature dealing with Paris and its working class, addresses questions concerning class consciousness and collective action against the nontraditional background of the male service worker, and tells the intriguing story of expanding public transportation in Paris.

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