Taking care of business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the tragedy of American labor
In this original, colorful history of "business unionism," Paul Buhle explains how trade union leaders in the United States became remote from the workers they claimed to represent as they allied with the very corporate executives and government officials who persistently opposed labor's interests.At the center of the tale are three of the most powerful labor leaders of the past century: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, and Lane Kirkland, successive presidents of the American Federation of Labor and its descendent, the AFL-CIO. Many other labor leaders, from John L. Lewis to Walter Reuther, receive in-depth treatment.Taking Care of Businessdemonstrates how a union hierarchy heavily populated by former radicals thwarted women and people of color from joining unions, suppressed shop floor militance, and colluded with business and government at home and abroad. Buhle shows how these leaders defeated generations of radical union members who sought a more democratic, class-based approach for the movement.
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Samuel Gompers and Business Unionism
Meany Takes Command
Apex and Decline
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activists activity AFL leaders AFL-CIO AFL's African African Americans AIFLD allies American Labor assorted bureaucratic business unionism C. L. R. James campaign capitalism chap civil rights Cold Committee Communist Congress conservative convention craft David David Dubinsky decades democracy Democratic Party Dubinsky economic election employers especially Federation Fraina George Meany Gompers's Ibid ILGWU immigrants industrial intellectuals International issues Jewish Knights Knights of Labor labor bureaucracy labor history labor leaders labor leadership labor movement Labor Party Lane Kirkland later Lewis liberal Lovestone meanwhile Meany's membership militant offered organized labor political president programs race racial racist radical Reagan reform Republican Reuther role Roosevelt Samuel Gompers Shanker social socialist society solidarity South strike struggle Teamsters tion trade union union leaders union members unionists United University Press victory Vietnam vote wage Walter Reuther workers working-class York