Pure and Simple Politics: The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881-1917
Scholarship on American labor politics has been dominated by the view that the American Federation of Labor, the dominant labor organization, rejected political action in favor of economic strategies. Based upon extensive research into labor and political party records, this study demonstrates that, despite the common belief, the AFL devoted great attention to political activity. The organization's main strategy, however, which Julie Greene terms 'pure and simple politics', dictated that trade unionists alone should shape American labor politics. Exploring the period from 1881 to 1917, Pure and Simple Politics focuses on the quandaries this approach generated for American trade unionists. Politics for AFL members became a highly contested terrain, as leaders attempted to implement a strategy which many rank-and-file workers rejected. Furthermore, its drive to achieve political efficacy increasingly exposed the AFL to forces beyond its control, as party politicians and other individuals began seeking to influence labor's political strategy and tactics.
Gompers and the Triumph of Conservative Unionism
The Revolt Against Party Slavery
Labors New Century
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affiliated AFL Executive Council AFL leaders AFL members AFL politics AFL Records AFL's alliance allies American Federation American Federationist American politics August bill campaign program candidates Cannon central labor unions Chicago Committee Congress congressional conservative convention County Danville defeat delegates Democratic Party dominated economic eight-hour day election employers example Federation of Labor focused Foner Frank Morrison Frank Walsh Gompers and Morrison Gompers Papers Gompers's Grant Hamilton Hamilton to Gompers immigration Indiana Indianapolis industrial influence injunction issues James John Lennon July Knights of Labor labor movement labor party legislation mobilization Morrison Letterbooks Mulhall national leaders October October 17 open-shop organized labor partisan party's political activity President presidential Progressive Progressive Era pure and simple railroad reel 67 reform role Roosevelt Samuel Gompers September September 26 social Socialist Party tactics Taft tion trade union trade unionists United University Press Walsh Papers William Jennings Bryan Woodrow Wilson working-class York