Stephanie Hinnershitz of Cleveland State University reviews Brokering Servitude: Migration and the Politics of Domestic Labor during the Long Nineteenth Century by Andrew Urban. Andrew Urban offers a history of domestic servants, focusing on how Irish immigrant women, Chinese immigrant men, and American-born black women navigated the domestic labor market in the nineteenth century – a market in which they were forced to grapple with powerful racial and gendered discrimination. Drawing on a range of sources – from political cartoons to immigrant case files to novels – Brokering Servitude connects Asian immigration, European immigration, and internal, black migration. The book ultimately demonstrates the ways in which employers pitted these groups against each other in competition for not only servant positions, but also certain forms of social inclusion, offering important insights into an oft-overlooked area of American history.
Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1177/0197918318798562.