The Revival of Labor Liberalism

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University of Illinois Press, 2008 - Political Science - 268 pages

The Revival of Labor Liberalism is a careful analysis of the twentieth-century decline of unions and liberals and the important efforts to revive their political fortunes. The break in the labor-liberal coalition in the late 1960s paved the way for an ascendant Republican Party and linked business and conservative interests bent on revising earlier policies implemented by the New Deal and the Great Society. Divided by politics and new social movements in the late 1960s, unions and liberals united in several new political organizations between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s in order to rebuild their coalition and its influence. This is the first book to chronicle the efforts of these organizations, which include the Progressive Alliance, Citizen Labor Energy Coalition, and National Labor Committee.

Drawing from extensive documentary research and in-depth interviews with union leaders and political activists, Andrew Battista argues that these new organizations made limited but real progress in reconstructing and strengthening the labor-liberal coalition. He also shows that their restorative efforts were closely tied to factional conflicts in the labor movement. Although the labor-liberal alliance remains far weaker than the rival business-conservative alliance, Battista emphasizes its crucial role in labor and political history since 1968. In focusing on this evolving partnership, this study provides a broad analysis of factional divisions among both unions and liberals and considers the future of unionism and the labor-liberal coalition in America.

 

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Contents

LaborLiberal Coalition
9
The Rise of the LaborLiberal Coalition
27
The Decline of the LaborLiberal Coalition
43
Labor Redivided
61
The Revival of
81
The Citizen Labor Energy Coalition
103
The National Labor Committee
122
The Political Strategy and Social Bases of the Dissident Unions
147
Toward and Beyond 1995
165
Retrospect and Prospect
191
Appendix
213
Index
261
Copyright

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Page 246 - Robert H. Zieger, The CIO, 1935-1955 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), p. 86. Ann Schofield, "Introduction," to Rose Pesotta, Bread upon the Waters (1944; rpt.

About the author (2008)

Andrew Battista is an associate professor of political science at East Tennessee State University.

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