State Of The Union

Author: Nelson Lichtenstein
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691160279
Size: 28.29 MB
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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. This edition includes a new preface in which Lichtenstein engages with many of those who have offered commentary on State of the Union and evaluates the historical literature that has emerged in the decade since the book's initial publication. He also brings his narrative into the current moment with a final chapter, "Obama's America: Liberalism without Unions.?

American Capitalism

Author: Nelson Lichtenstein
Publisher: American Mathematical Soc.
ISBN: 9780812219401
Size: 63.93 MB
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At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the legitimacy of American capitalism seems unchallenged. The link between open markets, economic growth, and democratic success has become common wisdom, not only among policy makers but for many intellectuals as well. In this instance, however, the past has hardly been prologue to contemporary confidence in the free market. American Capitalism presents thirteen thought-provoking essays that explain how a variety of individuals, many prominent intellectuals but others partisans in the combative world of business and policy, engaged with anxieties about the seismic economic changes in postwar America and, in the process, reconfigured the early twentieth-century ideology that put critique of economic power and privilege at its center. The essays consider a broad spectrum of figures—from C. L. R. James and John Kenneth Galbraith to Peter Drucker and Ayn Rand—and topics ranging from theories of Cold War "convergence" to the rise of the philanthropic Right. They examine how the shift away from political economy at midcentury paved the way for the 1960s and the "culture wars" that followed. Contributors interrogate what was lost and gained when intellectuals moved their focus from political economy to cultural criticism. The volume thereby offers a blueprint for a dramatic reevaluation of how we should think about the trajectory of American intellectual history in twentieth-century United States.

The Sex Of Class

Author: Dorothy Sue Cobble
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801443220
Size: 25.76 MB
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Women now comprise the majority of the working class. Yet this fundamental transformation has gone largely unnoticed. This book is about how the sex of workers matters in understanding the jobs they do, the problems they face at work, and the new labor movements they are creating in the United States and globally. In The Sex of Class, twenty prominent scholars, labor leaders, and policy analysts look at the implication of this "sexual revolution" for labor policy and practice. The Sex of Class introduces readers to some of the most vibrant and forward-thinking social movements of our era: the clerical worker protests of the 1970s; the emergence of gay rights on the auto shop floor; the upsurge of union organizing in service jobs; worker centers and community unions of immigrant women; successful campaigns for paid family leave and work redesign; and innovative labor NGOs, cross-border alliances, and global labor federations. Revealing the animating ideas and the innovative strategies put into practice by the female leaders of the twenty-first-century social justice movement, the contributors to this book offer new ideas for how government can help reduce class and sex inequalities. They assess the status of women and sexual minorities within the traditional labor movement and they provide inspiring case studies of how women workers and their allies are inventing new forms of worker representation and power.

21st Century Economics A Reference Handbook

Author: Rhona C. Free
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1412961424
Size: 42.48 MB
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Interest in economics is at an all-time high. Among the challenges facing the nation is an economy with rapidly rising unemployment, failures of major businesses and industries, and continued dependence on oil with its wildly fluctuating price. Americans are debating the proper role of the government in company bailouts, the effectiveness of tax cuts versus increased government spending to stimulate the economy, and potential effects of deflation. Economists have dealt with such questions for generations, but they have taken on new meaning and significance. Tackling these questions and encompassing analysis of traditional economic theory and topics as well as those that economists have only more recently addressed, 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook is intended to meet the needs of several types of readers. Undergraduate students preparing for exams will find summaries of theory and models in key areas of micro and macroeconomics. Readers interested in learning about economic analysis of an issue as well students embarking on research projects will find introductions to relevant theory and empirical evidence. And economists seeking to learn about extensions of analysis into new areas or about new approaches will benefit from chapters that introduce cutting-edge topics. To make the book accessible to undergraduate students, models have been presented only in graphical format (minimal calculus) and empirical evidence has been summarized in ways that do not require much background in statistics or econometrics. It is thereby hoped that chapters will provide both crucial information and inspiration in a non-threatening, highly readable format.

Labor Rights Are Civil Rights

Author: Zaragosa Vargas
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400849284
Size: 25.67 MB
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In 1937, Mexican workers were among the strikers and supporters beaten, arrested, and murdered by Chicago policemen in the now infamous Republic Steel Mill Strike. Using this event as a springboard, Zaragosa Vargas embarks on the first full-scale history of the Mexican-American labor movement in twentieth-century America. Absorbing and meticulously researched, Labor Rights Are Civil Rightspaints a multifaceted portrait of the complexities and contours of the Mexican American struggle for equality from the 1930s to the postwar era. Drawing on extensive archival research, Vargas focuses on the large Mexican American communities in Texas, Colorado, and California. As he explains, the Great Depression heightened the struggles of Spanish speaking blue-collar workers, and employers began to define citizenship to exclude Mexicans from political rights and erect barriers to resistance. Mexican Americans faced hostility and repatriation. The mounting strife resulted in strikes by Mexican fruit and vegetable farmers. This collective action, combined with involvement in the Communist party, led Mexican workers to unionize. Vargas carefully illustrates how union mobilization in agriculture, tobacco, garment, and other industries became an important vehicle for achieving Mexican American labor and civil rights. He details how interracial unionism proved successful in cross-border alliances, in fighting discriminatory hiring practices, in building local unions, in mobilizing against fascism and in fighting brutal racism. No longer willing to accept their inferior status, a rising Mexican American grassroots movement would utilize direct action to achieve equality.

The Politics Of Whiteness

Author: Michelle Brattain
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691007311
Size: 55.80 MB
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Brattain uncovers considerable white working-class political influence and activism for decades starting in the 1930s - which, by re-creating and defending Southern institutions grounded in the idea of racial difference, helped pave the way for resistance to the civil rights movement."

The Great Exception

Author: Jefferson Cowie
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069117573X
Size: 29.10 MB
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Where does the New Deal fit in the big picture of American history? What does it mean for us today? What happened to the economic equality it once engendered? In The Great Exception, Jefferson Cowie provides new answers to these important questions. In the period between the Great Depression and the 1970s, he argues, the United States government achieved a unique level of equality, using its considerable resources on behalf of working Americans in ways that it had not before and has not since. If there is to be a comparable battle for collective economic rights today, Cowie argues, it needs to build on an understanding of the unique political foundation for the New Deal. Anyone who wants to come to terms with the politics of inequality in the United States will need to read The Great Exception.