Silk Stockings and Socialism: Sharon McConnell-Sidorick and Nathaniel Popkin

Join us for a reading and discussion by
Sharon McConnell-Sidorick 
in conversation with 
Nathaniel Popkin 
for her new book
Silk Stockings and Socialism:
Philadelphia's Radical Hosiery Workers from the Jazz Age to the New Deal

Image result for sharon mcconnell-sidorick bio
The 1920s Jazz Age is remembered for flappers and speakeasies, not for the success of a declining labor movement. A more complex story was unfolding among the young women and men in the hosiery mills of Kensington, the working-class heart of Philadelphia. Their product was silk stockings, the iconic fashion item of the flapper culture then sweeping America and the world. Although the young people who flooded into this booming industry were avid participants in Jazz Age culture, they also embraced a surprising, rights-based labor movement, headed by the socialist-led American Federation of Full-Fashioned Hosiery Workers (AFFFHW). 

In this first history of this remarkable union, Sharon McConnell-Sidorick reveals how activists ingeniously fused youth culture and radical politics to build a subculture that included dances and parties as well as picket lines and sit-down strikes, while forging a vision for social change. In documenting AFFFHW members and the Kensington community, McConnell-Sidorick shows how labor federations like the Congress of Industrial Organizations and government programs like the New Deal did not spring from the heads of union leaders or policy experts but were instead nurtured by grassroots social movements across America.

Sharon McConnell-Sidorick is an historian, author, and activist who grew up in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  She attended the University of Pennsylvania on a Bread Upon the Waters scholarship and earned her Ph.D. in History from Temple University. The University of North Carolina Press published her first book, Silk Stockings and Socialism: Philadelphia's Radical Hosiery Workers from the Jazz Age to the New Deal, in 2017.


Nathaniel Popkin is a writer, editor, historian, journalist, and the author of three books, including the forthcoming Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (Temple Press) and a novel, Lion and Leopard (The Head and the Hand Press). He is the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment," for which his work has been recognized with several Emmy awards, and the co-editor of the Hidden City Daily, a web magazine that covers architecture, design, planning, and preservation in Philadelphia.. He’s the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine, as well as a prolific book critic—and National Book Critics Circle member—focusing on literary fiction and works in translation. He contributes regularly to the Wall Street JournalPublic BooksThe Millions, and the Kenyon Review, among other publications. Popkin received a BA, Philosophy from University of Pennsylvania in 1991 a MCP from University of Pennsylvania School of Design in 1994. He attended Spéos Photographic Institute in Paris in 1998.

Event date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304
Silk Stockings and Socialism: Philadelphia's Radical Hosiery Workers from the Jazz Age to the New Deal Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469632957
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - April 17th, 2017

Get rewards!

Now every time you spend $100 with us, get $10 off your next purchase! Sign up on your next visit!