Good Company: A Tramp Life

3rd Edition

Douglas Harper

Published March 15, 2016
Textbook - 224 Pages - 78 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138674950 - CAT# Y231414

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This sociological classic shows how the railroad tramp’s status as a deviant changed from frontier itinerant to post settlement vagrant; from class conscious proletariat in the Depression to the damaged post WWII vet. The third edition (with new photos) discusses how today the freights have become the milieu of violent gangs who transport drugs, human traffickers, and serial killers. Beating the odds against increased post 9/11 surveillance are yuppie adventure seekers, young travelers, crust punks and oogles. In the background is the same freight train—unforgiving and lethal—and cultures policed at times by honorable tramps and at times by sadistic enforcers of violent gangs. 

Features of the new edition:

Eight previously unpublished photos that reflect new directions in visual ethnography. (90 photos altogether)

A fuller integration of photos made during the author’s participant research with tramps over thousands of miles on the freights and while living homeless in urban America.

New, nuanced edit of a narrative describing author’s five week immersion with the quintessential tramp of the era, Carl.


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