The Price of Dissent: Testimonies to Political Repression in America

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University of California Press, 2001 - Political Science - 468 pages
Bud and Ruth Schultz's vivid oral history presents the extraordinary testimony of people who experienced government repression and persecution firsthand. Drawn from three of the most significant social movements of our time--the labor, Black freedom, and antiwar movements--these engrossing interviews bring to life the experiences of Americans who acted upon their beliefs despite the price they paid for their dissent. In doing so, they--and the movements they were part of--helped shape the political and social landscape of the United States from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century.
The majority of the voices in this book belong to everyday people--workers, priests, teachers, students--but more well-known figures such as Congressman John Lewis, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Abbie Hoffman, and Daniel Ellsberg are also included. There are firsthand accounts by leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World, active early in the century; Southern Tenant Farmers Union of the 1930s; Women's Strike for Peace, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Berkeley's Free Speech Movement of the 1950s and 1960s; and the Hormel meatpackers' Local P-9 in the 1980s. Lively introductions by the authors contextualize these personal statements.
Those who tell their stories in The Price of Dissent, and others like them, faced surveillance and disruption from police agencies, such as the FBI; brutalization by local police; local ordinances and court injunctions limiting protest; inquisitions into beliefs and associations by congressional committees; prosecution under laws that curbed dissent; denaturalization and deportation; and purges under government loyalty programs. Agree with them or not, by dissenting when it was unpopular or dangerous to do so, they insisted on exercising the precious American right of free expression and preserved it for a new century's dissenters. Bud and Ruth Schultz's vivid oral history presents the extraordinary testimony of people who experienced government repression and persecution firsthand. Drawn from three of the most significant social movements of our time--the labor, Black freedom, and antiwar movements--these engrossing interviews bring to life the experiences of Americans who acted upon their beliefs despite the price they paid for their dissent. In doing so, they--and the movements they were part of--helped shape the political and social landscape of the United States from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century.
The majority of the voices in this book belong to everyday people--workers, priests, teachers, students--but more well-known figures such as Congressman John Lewis, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Abbie Hoffman, and Daniel Ellsberg are also included. There are firsthand accounts by leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World, active early in the century; Southern Tenant Farmers Union of the 1930s; Women's Strike for Peace, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Berkeley's Free Speech Movement of the 1950s and 1960s; and the Hormel meatpackers' Local P-9 in the 1980s. Lively introductions by the authors contextualize these personal statements.
Those who tell their stories in The Price of Dissent, and others like them, faced surveillance and disruption from police agencies, such as the FBI; brutalization by local police; local ordinances and court injunctions limiting protest; inquisitions into beliefs and associations by congressional committees; prosecution under laws that curbed dissent; denaturalization and deportation; and purges under government loyalty programs. Agree with them or not, by dissenting when it was unpopular or dangerous to do so, they insisted on exercising the precious American right of free expression and preserved it for a new century's dissenters.
 

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this book is wonderful. filled with photos and stories of unsung heros

Contents

SUBVERTING THE ORGANIZATION
5
Attacks on Labor Before the Triumph
16
Labor at MidCentury
34
Cracking Down on New Voices of Union
92
SUPPRESSING THE BLACK FREEDOM
119
Cold War Constraints on African Americans
130
The Black Freedom Movement Under Siege
153
Voter Rights Revisited
250
Tainting the Antinuclear Movement
278
The War Against the Peacemakers
289
The Heresy of a ModernDay Social Gospel
368
PRESERVING THE RIGHT TO DISSENT
395
A Notable Reversal
402
Notes
435
Index
455
Copyright

SILENCING OPPONENTS OF WAR
265

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About the author (2001)

Bud Schultz is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Trinity College, and Ruth Schultz is an independent scholar. They are the authors of It Did Happen Here: Recollections of Political Repression in America (California, 1989).

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