State of the Union

A Century of American Labor

Author: Nelson Lichtenstein

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691116547

Category: History

Page: 336

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In a fresh and timely reinterpretation, Nelson Lichtenstein examines how trade unionism has waxed and waned in the nation's political and moral imagination, among both devoted partisans and intransigent foes. From the steel foundry to the burger-grill, from Woodrow Wilson to John Sweeney, from Homestead to Pittston, Lichtenstein weaves together a compelling matrix of ideas, stories, strikes, laws, and people in a streamlined narrative of work and labor in the twentieth century. The "labor question" became a burning issue during the Progressive Era because its solution seemed essential to the survival of American democracy itself. Beginning there, Lichtenstein takes us all the way to the organizing fever of contemporary Los Angeles, where the labor movement stands at the center of the effort to transform millions of new immigrants into alert citizen unionists. He offers an expansive survey of labor's upsurge during the 1930s, when the New Deal put a white, male version of industrial democracy at the heart of U.S. political culture. He debunks the myth of a postwar "management-labor accord" by showing that there was (at most) a limited, unstable truce. Lichtenstein argues that the ideas that had once sustained solidarity and citizenship in the world of work underwent a radical transformation when the rights-centered social movements of the 1960s and 1970s captured the nation's moral imagination. The labor movement was therefore tragically unprepared for the years of Reagan and Clinton: although technological change and a new era of global economics battered the unions, their real failure was one of ideas and political will. Throughout, Lichtenstein argues that labor's most important function, in theory if not always in practice, has been the vitalization of a democratic ethos, at work and in the larger society. To the extent that the unions fuse their purpose with that impulse, they can once again become central to the fate of the republic. State of the Union is an incisive history that tells the story of one of America's defining aspirations.
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The Right and Labor in America

Politics, Ideology, and Imagination

Author: Nelson Lichtenstein,Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812207912

Category: History

Page: 440

View: 1262

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The legislative attack on public sector unionism that gave rise to the uproar in Wisconsin and other union strongholds in 2011 was not just a reaction to the contemporary economic difficulties faced by the government. Rather, it was the result of a longstanding political and ideological hostility to the very idea of trade unionism put forward by a conservative movement whose roots go as far back as the Haymarket Riot of 1886. The controversy in Madison and other state capitals reveals that labor's status and power has always been at the core of American conservatism, today as well as a century ago. The Right and Labor in America explores the multifaceted history and range of conservative hostility toward unionism, opening the door to a fascinating set of individuals, movements, and institutions that help explain why, in much of the popular imagination, union leaders are always "bosses" and trade union organizers are nothing short of "thugs." The contributors to this volume explore conservative thought about unions, in particular the ideological impulses, rhetorical strategies, and political efforts that conservatives have deployed to challenge unions as a force in U.S. economic and political life over the century. Among the many contemporary books on American parties, personalities, and elections that try to explain why political disputes are so divisive, this collection of original and innovative essays is essential reading.
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The Rise and Fall of the White Republic

Class Politics and Mass Culture in Nineteenth-century America

Author: Alexander Saxton

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 9781859844670

Category: History

Page: 397

View: 6409

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Saxton asks why white racism remained an ideological force in America long after the need to justify slavery and Western conquest had disappeared.
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Belated Feudalism

Labor, the Law, and Liberal Development in the United States

Author: Karen Orren

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521422543

Category: History

Page: 238

View: 9321

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This book, first published in 1992, reinterprets constitutional change in the United States and of the role of American organized labor.
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Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War

Author: Eric Foner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199727082

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 1502

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Insisting that politics and ideology must remain at the forefront of any examination of nineteenth-century America, Foner reasserts the centrality of the Civil War to the people of that period. The first section of this book deals with the causes of the sectional conflict; the second, with the antislavery movement; and a final group of essays treats land and labor after the war. Taken together, Foner's essays work towards reintegrating the social, political, and intellectual history of the nineteenth century.
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A Fabric of Defeat

The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948

Author: Bryant Simon

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807864494

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 7115

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In this book, Bryant Simon brings to life the politics of white South Carolina millhands during the first half of the twentieth century. His revealing and moving account explores how this group of southern laborers thought about and participated in politics and public power. Taking a broad view of politics, Simon looks at laborers as they engaged in political activity in many venues--at the polling station, on front porches, and on the shop floor--and examines their political involvement at the local, state, and national levels. He describes the campaign styles and rhetoric of such politicians as Coleman Blease and Olin Johnston (himself a former millhand), who eagerly sought the workers' votes. He draws a detailed picture of mill workers casting ballots, carrying placards, marching on the state capital, writing to lawmakers, and picketing factories. These millhands' politics reflected their public and private thoughts about whiteness and blackness, war and the New Deal, democracy and justice, gender and sexuality, class relations and consumption. Ultimately, the people depicted here are neither romanticized nor dismissed as the stereotypically racist and uneducated "rednecks" found in many accounts of southern politics. Southern workers understood the political and social forces that shaped their lives, argues Simon, and they developed complex political strategies to deal with those forces.
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Race and American Political Development

Author: Joseph E. Lowndes,Julie Novkov,Dorian T. Warren

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136086420

Category: Political Science

Page: 354

View: 9357

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Race has been present at every critical moment in American political development, shaping political institutions, political discourse, public policy, and its denizens’ political identities. But because of the nature of race—its evolving and dynamic status as a structure of inequality, a political organizing principle, an ideology, and a system of power—we must study the politics of race historically, institutionally, and discursively. Covering more than three hundred years of American political history from the founding to the contemporary moment, the contributors in this volume make this extended argument. Together, they provide an understanding of American politics that challenges our conventional disciplinary tools of studying politics and our conservative political moment’s dominant narrative of racial progress. This volume, the first to collect essays on the role of race in American political history and development, resituates race in American politics as an issue for sustained and broadened critical attention.
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Little Rock

Race and Resistance at Central High School

Author: Karen Anderson

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400832144

Category: History

Page: 344

View: 8979

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The desegregation crisis in Little Rock is a landmark of American history: on September 4, 1957, after the Supreme Court struck down racial segregation in public schools, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called up the National Guard to surround Little Rock Central High School, preventing black students from going in. On September 25, 1957, nine black students, escorted by federal troops, gained entrance. With grace and depth, Little Rock provides fresh perspectives on the individuals, especially the activists and policymakers, involved in these dramatic events. Looking at a wide variety of evidence and sources, Karen Anderson examines American racial politics in relation to changes in youth culture, sexuality, gender relations, and economics, and she locates the conflicts of Little Rock within the larger political and historical context. Anderson considers how white groups at the time, including middle class women and the working class, shaped American race and class relations. She documents white women's political mobilizations and, exploring political resentments, sexual fears, and religious affiliations, illuminates the reasons behind segregationists' missteps and blunders. Anderson explains how the business elite in Little Rock retained power in the face of opposition, and identifies the moral failures of business leaders and moderates who sought the appearance of federal compliance rather than actual racial justice, leaving behind a legacy of white flight, poor urban schools, and institutional racism. Probing the conflicts of school desegregation in the mid-century South, Little Rock casts new light on connections between social inequality and the culture wars of modern America. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
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