John L. Lewis: An Unauthorized Biography

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Pickle Partners Publishing, Jan 12, 2017 - History - 353 pages
Dramatically, from personal acquaintance and Lewis’s own files, Saul Alinsky writes here the inside story of one of the most powerful men in America. Its revelations of why Lewis broke with Roosevelt, of why he fought with the AF of L to form the CIO, of the birth of the sit-down strikes, of the motives behind the war strikes, of how Lewis has so often managed to stalemate the U.S. Government—these are front-page news. They are brought out with sharp insight by one of the most brilliant observers of the labor movement in this country.

John L. Lewis is not only reporting of an extremely high order but one of the most stimulating biographies that have been published in many years. There is no one of us who can remain unaffected by the acts of the mine workers’ president.

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CHAPTER 1Of Men and Coal
CHAPTER 2John Llewellyn Lewis 16
CHAPTER 3The Bloody Twenties 45
CHAPTER 4The Beginning of the Big Parade 64
CHAPTER 51937 the Year of Attack 80
CHAPTER 6They Sit to Conquer 88
CHAPTER 7The Rout 124
CHAPTER 9Post Mortem 154
CHAPTER 10The LewisMurray Break 169
CHAPTER 11The Break with the CIO 186
CHAPTER 12Lewis vs the People 216
CHAPTER 13Imbroglio 247
CHAPTER 14Something of a Man 262

CHAPTER 8The LewisRoosevelt Break 133

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About the author (2017)

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 - June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is noted for his 1971 book Rules for Radicals.

His organizing skills were focused on improving the living conditions of poor communities across America. In the 1950s, he began turning his attention to improving conditions in the black ghettos, beginning with Chicago’s and later traveling to other ghettos in California, Michigan, New York City, and a dozen other “trouble spots”.

Born in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Alinsky attended Marshall High School in Chicago until his parents divorced and then went to live with his father who moved to California, graduating from Hollywood High School in 1926.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1930, majoring in archaeology. His plans to become a professional archaeologist were changed due to the ongoing economic Depression.

After attending two years of graduate school at the University of Chicago, he began working for the state of Illinois as a criminologist, as well as an organizer with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). By 1939, he became less active in the labor movement and became more active in general community organizing, starting with the Back of the Yards and other poor areas on the South Side of Chicago.

He spent the next 10 years repeating his organization work across the nation, from Kansas City and Detroit to the barrios of Southern California. By 1950 he turned his attention to the black ghettos of Chicago. He traveled to California at the request of the San Francisco Bay Area Presbyterian Churches to help organize the black ghetto in Oakland.

Alinsky died in 1972 at the age of 63 from a heart attack near his home in Carmel, California.

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