Imagining Internationalism in American and British Labor, 1939-49

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University of Illinois Press, 2000 - Political Science - 298 pages
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"Vividly capturing a moment in history when American and British unions seemed about to join with their Soviet counterparts to create a world unified by its workers, this wide-ranging study uncovers the social, cultural, and ideological currents that generated worldwide support among workers for a union international as well as the pull of national interests that ultimately subverted it. In a striking departure from the conventional wisdom, Victor Silverman argues that the ideology of the cold war was essentially imposed from above and came into conflict with the attitudes workers developed about internationalism. This work, the first to look at internationalism from the point of view of the worker, confirms at the level of social and cultural history that the postwar tensions between the Anglo-Americans and the Soviets took several years to become a new orthodoxy. Silverman demonstrates that for millions of trade unionists in dozens of countries the Cold War began in late 1948, rather than between 1945 and 1946, as generally recorded by diplomatic historians. Tracing the faultlines between politics and ideals and between national and class allegiances, Silverman shows how the vision of an international working-class recovery was ultimately discredited and the cold war set inexorably in motion."

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Page 68 - Time will show exactly what is going on in Russia. I think things are all right, but you get such completely opposite stories.
Page 205 - We cannot take from them what they haven't got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy; must rise to he the leading class of the nation; must constitute itself the nation ; it is so far itself national though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.
Page 87 - By God, I wish Russia could have seen that if she had nevet suppotted the Communist Patty in England hut allowed the Btitish ttade union movement to help Russia she would have heen in a much hettet posi11on today.
Page 115 - Though the tetmination of the wat was confidently expected almost any day, no one among those to whom I spoke...
Page xii - This wotk was, of coutse, influenced hy the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold wat...
Page 2 - without the suppott of the people. ... If [the] WFTU pulled out, [the] UN would collapse.
Page 57 - Cittine claimed to he moved hy the "immeasutahle possihilities (which) unfolded themselves in my own mind as I listened on that Sunday motning to the htoadcast announcement of the Na2i invasion of Soviet Russia.

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