Pursuing Justice: Lee Pressman, the New Deal, and the CIO
As the nation's most prominent labor lawyer during a period of ascending labor power, Lee Pressman served as General Counsel of the Congress of Industrial Organizations from 1933 to 1948. Working among the movers and shapers of American politics, he was also one of the most highly-placed, though covert, adherents of communism in public life during the New Deal-Fair Deal years. This book chronicles Pressman's fascinating public life and examines his contributions to the rebirth of the American labor movement, to the development of U.S. labor law, and to the history of the New Deal-Fair Deal era.
Pressman served as John L. Lewis's legal strategist during the CIO's successful campaign to unionize the mass production industries in the United States in the 1930s. Performing a similar role for Philip Murray, Lewis's successor, Pressman guided the new labor federation through the perils of wartime labor policy and the turbulent post-war economic reconversion. After he left the CIO in 1948 to support the independent Progressive Party campaign of Henry Wallace, he found his public career dissipating as he became embroiled in the Alger Hiss case and the rising anticommunist tide of the early Cold War years.
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