All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism

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NYU Press, Nov 1, 2011 - History - 312 pages
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In the early 1930’s, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU)  organized large numbers of Black and Hispanic workers through a broadly conceived program of education, culture, and community involvement. The ILGWU admitted these new members, the overwhelming majority of whom were women, into racially integrated local unions and created structures to celebrate ethnic differences. All Together Different revolves around this phenomenon of interracial union building and worker education during the Great Depression.

Investigating why immigrant Jewish unionists in the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) appealed to an international force of coworkers, Katz traces their ideology of a working-class based cultural pluralism, which Daniel Katz newly terms “mutual culturalism,” back to the revolutionary experiences of Russian Jewish women. These militant women and their male allies constructed an ethnic identity derived from Yiddish socialist tenets based on the principle of autonomous national cultures in the late nineteenth century Russian Empire. Built on original scholarship and bolstered by exhaustive research, All Together Different offers a fresh perspective on the nature of ethnic identity and working-class consciousness and contributes to current debates about the origins of multiculturalism.
 

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Contents

The Revolutionary and Gendered Origins of
46
Political Factionalism and Multicultural Education 19171927
72
Reconstructing a Multicultural Union 19271933
98
Social Unionism and the
123
Politics and the Precarious Place of Multiculturalism 19331937
164
Notes
241
Bibliography
277
Index
289
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About the author (2011)

Daniel Katz is Professor of History and Dean of Labor Studies at the National Labor College. A former union organizer, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City. 

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