Dr Paul Michel Taillon

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Senior Lecturer


I am a historian of working people and the labor movement in the United States. I have written on gender, race, and unionism in the United States railroad industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Good, Reliable, White Men, Railroad Brotherhoods, 1877-1917 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009).


Research | Current

  • World War I mobilization and the labor history of the 1920s
  • The labor movement, the living wage, and employee representation
  • African American workers, trade unions, and the state
  • Insurgent unionism and syndicalism
  • Working-class travel writing

Teaching | Current

I teach the survey of United States history at Stage I, a course in the making of modern America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at stages II and III, and "Uncovering United States History" at postgraduate level. In 2020, I offer History 257/357, "The Making of Modern American: The USA, 1877-1924."

Semester 1 2020:

HISTORY 108 Rise and Fall of the USA

Postgraduate supervision

Current Supervision:

Murray Boucher, "The Veteran, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and Veterans' Advocacy, 1971-1980," BA(Hons).

Tom Stephenson, "Age of Anxiety: Advertising and Consumer Culture in the postwar United States, 1945-51," BA(Hons).

Howard Sze, "The Masses and Modernism: Breaking Away and Conforming to Tradition from 1911 to 1917," BA(Hons).

Meghan Williams, "Sticks and Carrots: The Personal and Political Friendship of Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, 1993-1999," BA(Hons).


Discipline Convenor for History

Areas of expertise

  • Late nineteenth and early twentieth century United States social, cultural, and political history
  • Labor history
  • Railroad history
  • Gender and masculinity

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Editorial Board, Australasian Journal of American Studies.
  • Management Board, New Zealand Journal of History

I am co-hosting the 2019 Conference of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association in 14-16 July 2019.  The theme of the Conference is "Community, Conflict, and the 'Meaning of America.'" https://anzasa.org/2019-conference/

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Taillon, P. M. (2017). Labour Movements, Trade Unions and Strikes (USA). 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War (pp. 1-10). Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin / Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Related URL.
  • Taillon, P. M. (2016). Review of the book: Free Labor. The Civil War and the Making of an American Working Class, by Mark A. Lause. H-Net Reviews Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35320
  • Taillon, P. M. (2016). Review of the book: Death and Dying in the Working Class, 1865–1920, by Michael K. Rosenow. Journal of American History, 103 (1), 206-207. 10.1093/jahist/jaw076
  • Taillon, P. M. (2016). A syndicalist moment? Democracy, insurgent unionism, and the ‘Outlaw Strike’ of 1920. Labor History, 57 (3), 390-414. 10.1080/0023656X.2016.1161269
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35291
  • Taillon, P. M. (2015). The spirit of 1919: Labour, race and revolution. Auckland, New Zealand. 11 August - 22 September 2015.
  • Taillon, P. M. (2015). Review of the book: Progressives at War: William G. McAdoo and Newton D. Baker, 1863-1941, by Douglas B. Craig. Australasian Journal of American Studies, 34 (1), 100-102.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35304
  • Taillon, P. M. (2014). "All Men Are Entitled to Justice By the Government": Black Workers, Citizenship, Letter Writing, and the World War I State. Journal of Social History, 48 (1), 88-111. 10.1093/jsh/shu081
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35293
  • Taillon, P. (2014). Review of the book: Weavers of Dreams, Unite! Actors' Unionism in Early Twentieth-Century America, by Sean P. Holmes. Journal of American History, 101 (1), 296-297. 10.1093/jahist/jau324


Contact details

Office hours

Semester 2, 2019: Tuesday and Friday, 1-2pm.

Primary office location

ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 7, Room 723
New Zealand

Web links