A Contest of Ideas: Capital, Politics and Labor (Working Class in American History)

A Contest of Ideas: Capital, Politics and Labor (Working Class in American History)

Nelson Lichtenstein

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 025207940X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For more than thirty years Nelson Lichtenstein has deployed his scholarship--on labor, politics, and social thought--to chart the history and prospects of a progressive America. A Contest of Ideas collects and updates many of Lichtenstein's most provocative and controversial essays and reviews.

These incisive writings link the fate of the labor movement to the transformations in the shape of world capitalism, to the rise of the civil rights movement, and to the activists and intellectuals who have played such important roles. Tracing broad patterns of political thought, Lichtenstein offers important perspectives on the relationship of labor and the state, the tensions that sometimes exist between a culture of rights and the idea of solidarity, and the rise of conservatism in politics, law, and intellectual life. The volume closes with portraits of five activist intellectuals whose work has been vital to the conflicts that engage the labor movement, public policy, and political culture.

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Raise (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996), 17. 37. Timothy Willard, “Labor and the National War Labor Board, 1942–1945: An Experiment in Corporatist Wage Stabilization,” PhD thesis, University of Toledo, 1984; Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945–60 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994); David A Horowitz, Beyond Left and Right: Insurgency and the Establishment (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997). 38. A particularly good

Unionization of Foremen,” PhD diss., University of Wisconsin, 1949, 298–302. 79. Levinson, “Wartime Unionization of Foremen,” 303–307; author interviews with Fenwick, Campbell, Bonaventura. On the grounds that they had engaged in strike violence, Ford fired thirty-two FAA activists. Most were blacklisted throughout the industry, and many never worked as foremen again. 80. Robert Keys to Walter Reuther, June 17, 24, 1947, in box 96, Walter P. Reuther Collection, ALHUA; Special Session, UAW

Whittaker Chambers: A Biography (New York: Modern Library, 1997). 2. Judith Stepan-Norris and Maurice Zeitlin, Left Out: Reds and America’s Industrial Unions (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003). 3. Ibid., 23. 4. The classic text here is Irving Howe and Lewis Coser, The American Communist Party: A Critical History (New York: Praeger, 1957), 319–436. 5. Sidney Lens, Left, Right, and Center: Conflicting Forces in American Labor (Hinsdale, IL: Henry Regnery, 1949). 6. As quoted in

published during the 1950s alone under the auspices of the Kerr-Dunlop Inter-University Study. Bruce Kaufman, The Origins and Evolution of the Field of Industrial Relations in the United States (Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 1993), 94–95. 35. Paddy Riley, “Clark Kerr: From the Industrial to the Knowledge Economy,” in American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century, ed. Nelson Lichtenstein (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 71–87. 36. C. Wright

the framework for the growth of an autonomous labor-oriented civil rights movement. The narrowing of public discourse in the early Cold War era contributed largely to the defeat and diffusion of that movement. The rise of anti-Communism shattered the Popular Front coalition on civil rights, while the retreat and containment of the union movement deprived black activists of the political and social space necessary to carry on an independent struggle. The disintegration of the black movement in the

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