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Left Out : Reds and America's Industrial Unions - Judith Stepan-Norris

Left Out

Reds and America's Industrial Unions

Paperback

Published: 27th March 2003
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From the late 1930s through the mid-1950s, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) brought together America's working men and women under a united class banner. Of the 38 CIO unions, 18 were 'left-wing' or 'Communist-dominated'. Yet the political struggle between the CIO's 'Communist dominated' and right-leaning unions was immensely divisive and self-destructive. How did the Communists win, hold, and wield power in the CIO unions? Did they subordinate the needs of workers to those of the Soviet regime? The authors provide testable answers to these questions with historically specific quantitative analyses of data on the CIO's origins, internal struggles, and political relations. They find that among the CIO unions, the Communists were more egalitarian, the most progressive on class, race, and gender issues, and leading fighters in struggles to enlarge the freedom and enhance the human dignity of America's workers.

Left Out is a meticulous and comprehensive history of the Communist contribution to democracy, militancy, and racial justice in the dynamic unions that emerged out of America's Depression-era labor upsurge. Judith Stepan-Norris and Maurice Zeitlin skillfully deploy the tools of both sociologists and historians to uncover a vast, variegated world of left-wing thought and praxis, in the process demonstrating how tragic and debilitating was the destruction of this left-wing union current in the early Cold War years." Nelson Lichtenstein, author of State of the Union: A Century of American Labor "'Why no socialism in America?' is one of the great and perennial sociological enigmas. To explain American exceptionalism one needs to understand what happened to 'red' unionism...Left Out is a landmark study because of its ambition and intellectual integrity; an exemplar of tough analysis, supported by incredibly rich historical evidence. And it is a pure joy to read...Stepan-Norris and Zeitlin have written a sociological tour de force that compels us all to reconsider what, truly, is exceptional about America." Gosta Esping-Andersen, author of The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism "Left Out is a meticulous and comprehensive history of the Communist contribution to democracy, militancy, and racial justice in the dynamic unions that emerged out of America's Depression-era labor upsurge. Judith Stepan-Norris and Maurice Zeitlin skillfully deploy the tools of both sociologists and historians to uncover a vast, variegated world of left-wing thought and praxis, in the process demonstrating how tragic and debilitating was the destruction of this left-wing union current in the early Cold War years." Nelson Lichtenstein, author of State of the Union: A Century of American Labor "'Why no socialism in America?' is one of the great and perennial sociological enigmas. To explain American exceptionalism one needs to understand what happened to 'red' unionism...Left Out is a landmark study because of its ambition and intellectual integrity; an exemplar of tough analysis, supported by incredibly rich historical evidence. And it is a pure joy to read...Stepan-Norris and Zeitlin have written a sociological tour de force that compels us all to reconsider what, truly, is exceptional about America." Gosta Esping-Andersen, author of The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism "Judith Stepan-Norris and Maurice Zeitlin...peel away the veil of anti-communism and organizational pessimism to reveal an insurgent communism that was no Stalinist front for 'infiltrating' or 'colonizing' unions, but was instead the backbone of popular struggles for decent working conditions, racial equality, women's rights, and participatory democracy...Going against the shibboleths of our time, [the authors] question the inevitability of American labor's self-destructive accommodation to corporate capitalism. Courageous, clear and compelling, this is counterfactual history at its best--history returned to the actors who make it." Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley, President-elect of the American Sociological Association "Finally someone has engaged the old and new anti-Communist scholarship, treated it seriously, and having put its assertions to the test of thorough empirical research, finds this literature to be radically wrong. Finally someone gives the Communists their due without soft pedaling their apologetic stance toward the former Soviet Union. This book will replace Lipset's classic on the ITU as the last word on trade union democracy and its relationship to anti-communism." David Wellman, author of The Union Makes Us Strong: Radical Unionism on the San Francisco Waterfront "[A]n intensive study of the ACP-dominated unions... Highly recommended." Choice "The authors meticulously investigate bogus claims by red-baiters, and set the record straight. It is a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to the body of literature which seeks to understand how workers make gains." UE News "...the authors' conslusions and insights help to illuminate not only the history of organized labor and the ILWU, but the present and future as well...Stephen-Norris and Zeitlin have helped us understand the importance of not repeating the mistakes of the Red Scare, and not letting another member of the House of Labor be left out." The Dispatcher

The congress of industrial organizations (CIO): left, right, and center
'Who gets the bird?'
Insurgency, radicalism, and democracy
Lived democracy: UAW local 600
'Red company unions'?
Rank-and-file democracy and the 'class struggle in production'
Strangers to their own class?
'Pin money' and 'pink slips'
The 'big 3' and interracial solidarity
The red and the black
Conclusion: an American tragedy
Epilogue: the specter of a 'third labor federation'
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521798402
ISBN-10: 052179840X
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 27th March 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.5  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.58