Packinghouse Daughter is a wonderful memoir that crossroads public history and memory. In the book, Cheri Register tells what it was like growing up in Albert Lea, Minnesota, during the 1959 meatpackers' strike and the violence that erupted when the company tried to bring in replacement workers for the striking union workers. She is the daughter of a Wilson & Company millwright which is the main life support of the city. She tells the tale as it was unfolding in front of her childhood eyes and her understanding of labor unions and life in general in a small town as the fog slowly is lifted and the veil of strife between labor and management in the 1950s is revealed. This is a must read for anybody who enjoys public history and/or labor history. The combination of her own research into the events, oral interviews, and own memories paints a picture that many today can still understand of a small town and the hold a large company has over the citizenry.
The author integrates personal memories and public history to tell a story of family loyalty, small-town life, and working-class values in the face of a violent labor strike in 1959.