A new edition of a classic book on how World War II changed the face of labor in the US
Labor's War at Home
The CIO in World War II
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With a New Introduction by the Author
Labor's War at Home examines a critical period in American politics and labor history, beginning with the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 through the wave of major industrial strikes that followed the war and accompanied the reconversion to a peacetime economy. Nelson Lichtenstein is concerned both with the internal organizations and social dynamics of the labor movementespecially the Congress of Industrial Organizationsand with the relationship between the CIO, as well as other bodies of organized labor, and the Roosevelt administration. He argues that tensions within the labor movement and within the ranks of American business profoundly affected government policy during the war and the nature of organized labor's political relations with Roosevelt and the Democratic Party. Moreover, the political arrangements worked out during the war established the foundations of social stability and labor politics that came to characterize the postwar world.
"[Lichtenstein's] research remains a significant contribution... for drawing attention to the critical importance of events that transpired for labor during what Eric Goldman thirty years ago labeled 'the crucial decade.'"
"Lichtenstein has compiled a splendid, well-researched book, written in an engaging and confident style. He effectively analyzes the search for labor stability during the war and, most important, what the implications were for trades unionism in the United States after 1945."
"This book is essential reading for students of American labor."
"Lichtenstein's... interpretation of the CIO's wartime experience is always provocative and frequently compelling."
"[Lichtenstein's] book represents an important addition not only to labor history but to political history as well."
"[Labor's War at Home] is grounded in a wide range of primary sources... Lichtenstein hopes to salvage from the war years a lesson for the militants of today."
"[M]ore than an interpretation of the labor movement in the 1940's, it is a detailed analysis of the struggle and a reminder of what happens when a radical movement is absorbed into the state."
List of Abbreviations
In the series
Labor in Crisis, edited by Stanley Aronowitz.
The hope for a revived progressive movement in American politics and culture depends to a large extent on the possibility of a revived labor movement. This series will stimulate debate and discussion about the state of the American labor movement and its relation to the future of America by publishing short, provocative books that offer varying analyses and prescriptions for labor's revival as well as diverse assessments of its prospects. Books in the series will be relevant to a vision of the labor movement that presupposes movements and people who care about the chances of more equality, more democratic participation in the institutions of political and social life, and more power for those traditionally excluded from economic and political decision making.