Black Americans and organized labor : a new history /
Paul D. Moreno.
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2006.
xii, 334 p. ; 24 cm.
080713094X (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2006.
080713094X (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Free labor -- From Reconstruction to Jim Crow, 1877-1895 -- Blacks and labor in the progressive era, 1900-1920 -- From progressivism to the New Deal, 1920-1935 -- The New Deal and World War -- The civil rights era, 1950-1965 -- The affirmative action dilemma, 1965-present.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [303]-325) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-06-01:
Moreno (history, Hillsdale College, and author of From Direct Action to Affirmative Action, CH, Dec'97, 35-2398) blends labor history and economic theory to analyze issues of race in the American labor movement. His thesis is that unions are cartels that try to reduce competition among workers, and "it is not surprising that labor unions have a long history of racial discrimination," which furthered that objective. Beginning with Reconstruction, he examines union development during the formative periods of Progressivism, the New Deal, the civil rights era, and the "affirmative action dilemma" of the 1970s. Moreno dismisses earlier historical work, contending that scholars "have been chasing their tails about race and class for decades." In his view, the story is a simple one: "white unionists found that race was a convenient basis on which to do what unions do--control the labor supply." In an appendix discussing the "folklore of socialism," Moreno rejects the argument that American businesses used race as a means of promoting labor market competition. Rather, capitalist competition produces unequal outcomes, but to condemn the process is to "condemn freedom." This thoroughly researched work provides a good overview of the black experience with labor unions. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate, faculty, and research collections. R. L. Hogler Colorado State University
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Choice, June 2006
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Long Description
Paul D. Moreno offers a bold reinter-pretation--truly a "new history"--of the role of race and racial discrimination in the American labor movement. Breaking with historians' deadlocked debate over the importance of race in labor organizations, Moreno applies insights of the law-and-economics movement to formulate a powerfully compelling labor-race theorem of elegant simplicity: White unionists found that race was a convenient basis on which to do what unions do--control the labor supply. Not racism pure and simple but "the economics of discrimination" explains historic black absence and under-representation in unions. Moreno's sweeping reexamination stretches from the antebellum period to the present, integrating relevant biographical details of principal figures such as Frederick Douglass and Samuel Gompers. Throughout, he focuses on the liberal-individualist philosophy that underlay the nineteenth-century principle of the right to work, a philosophy that the progressive or twenteith-century liberal view came to override but never fully eradicate. He traces changing attitudes and practices and exposes the impact made by federal and state employment policies, transformations in the southern economy, and the civil rights movement. Moreno brings remarkable clarity to the question of the importance of race in unions, impressively weaving together labor, policy, and African American history into a cogent, persuasive revisionist study that cannot be ignored.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Free Laborp. 8
From Reconstruction to Jim Crow, 1877-1895p. 41
Blacks and Labor in the Progressive Era, 1900-1920p. 82
From Progressivism to the New Deal, 1920-1935p. 137
The New Deal and World Warp. 176
The Civil Rights Era, 1950-1965p. 220
The Affirmative Action Dilemma, 1965-Presentp. 259
Conclusionp. 285
"Divide and Conquer": The Folklore of Socialismp. 289
Bibliographical Essayp. 303
Indexp. 327
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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