Catalogue


The American Civil Liberties Union & the making of modern liberalism, 1930-1960 /
Judy Kutulas.
imprint
Chapel Hill, N.C. : The University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
description
xii, 305 p.
ISBN
0807830364 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780807830369 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chapel Hill, N.C. : The University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
isbn
0807830364 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780807830369 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Becoming chic : the national ACLU in the 1930s -- Unnecessary obstacles : ACLU affiliates in the 1930s -- Holding us all together : the ACLU, the Nazi-Soviet pact, and anticommunism, 1939-1941 -- Losing our influence : the national ACLU during World War II -- Sticking their necks out : the affiliates during World War II -- Nothing accomplished, nothing done : the national ACLU after World War II -- Wedded to Caesar : the affiliates after World War II -- Mutually unhappy in each other's company : crisis and resolution.
catalogue key
5932373
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Founded by radicals in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union experienced several key changes in its formative years. Judy Kutulas traces the history of the ACLU between 1930 and 1960, as the organization shifted from the fringe to the liberal mainstream of American society. In alternating chapters, Kutulas explores operations at the national level and among the group's local branches. The shifts at the national level made the ACLU more government-friendly and less radical, but also, Kutulas argues, more timid and weak. Civil liberties activists in ACLU branches around the country ultimately pushed the organization to return to its radical roots in the 1960s.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-08-01:
ACLU member Kutulas (St. Olaf College) has written a highly critical internal history of that organization between 1930 and 1960 that is must reading for anyone interested in the nation's most prominent civil liberties group. Based primarily upon extensive archival research and interviews, the book is clearly organized and well written, although its overwhelming focus on internal bureaucratic developments often makes for less than exciting reading. Kutulas essentially makes three points. First, for the lengthy period when Roger Baldwin headed the ACLU, an organization officially dedicated to democracy for all operated in an extremely authoritarian manner. Second, although originally dominated by radicals dedicated to protecting the most politically outcast, the national ACLU increasingly focused on obtaining "respectability," as especially reflected in its refusal to defend WW II-era profascists or to challenge head-on the WW II internments of Japanese Americans and the many postwar persecutions of US communists. ACLU officials even sought FBI screenings of its own membership to ensure their "reliability"! Third, many local ACLU affiliates bitterly objected to both its authoritarian directorship, which essentially treated them as lackeys, and its perceived selling out of its early ideals. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students/faculty. R. J. Goldstein Oakland University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A beautifully researched and intelligent discussion of the institutional evolution of the nation's most important civil liberties organization.Ellen Schrecker, author of "Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America""
"A beautifully researched and intelligent discussion of the institutional evolution of the nation's most important civil liberties organization. Ellen Schrecker, author of Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America "
"A magnificent job unearthing the internal debates between ACLU members over how democratic the organization should be and what democratic feedoms the organization should fight for. . . . Persons engaged in different disciplinary dialogues on civil liberties in the United States will find their conversations enriched by reading this [book]." _ American Historical Review
"A magnificent job unearthing the internal debates between ACLU members over how democratic the organization should be and what democratic feedoms the organization should fight for. . . . Persons engaged in different disciplinary dialogues on civil liberties in the United States will find their conversations enriched by reading this [book]." -- American Historical Review
"A magnificent job unearthing the internal debates between ACLU members over how democratic the organization should be and what democratic feedoms the organization should fight for. . . . Persons engaged in different disciplinary dialogues on civil liberties in the United States will find their conversations enriched by reading this [book]." --American Historical Review
"An excellent story of the ACLU's development while realistically painting the organization's picture as a picture of struggle, endurance, and growth." -- Canadian Journal of History
"An excellent story of the ACLU's development while realistically painting the organization's picture as a picture of struggle, endurance, and growth." --Canadian Journal of History
"An excellent story of the ACLU's development while realistically painting the organization's picture as a picture of struggle, endurance, and growth." '”Canadian Journal of History
"An important contribution to the history of the development of a critical institution in American politics and American law." -- American Communist History
"An important contribution to the history of the development of a critical institution in American politics and American law." --American Communist History
"An important contribution to the history of the development of a critical institution in American politics and American law." '”American Communist History
"Critically but sympathetically explores organizational intricacies and individual conflicts. . . . Joins the small body of essential works examining the ACLU and its relationship to the once dominant strand of thought in the United States." _ Left History
"Critically but sympathetically explores organizational intricacies and individual conflicts. . . . Joins the small body of essential works examining the ACLU and its relationship to the once dominant strand of thought in the United States." -- Left History
"Critically but sympathetically explores organizational intricacies and individual conflicts. . . . Joins the small body of essential works examining the ACLU and its relationship to the once dominant strand of thought in the United States." --Left History
"Kutulas's judicious and insightful study extends the reader's understanding of the status of civil liberties and the politics of the World War II and Cold War eras. It offers a cautionary perspective that is particularly timely for post-9/11 America." _ Historian
"Kutulas's judicious and insightful study extends the reader's understanding of the status of civil liberties and the politics of the World War II and Cold War eras. It offers a cautionary perspective that is particularly timely for post-9/11 America." -- Historian
"Kutulas's judicious and insightful study extends the reader's understanding of the status of civil liberties and the politics of the World War II and Cold War eras. It offers a cautionary perspective that is particularly timely for post-9/11 America." --Historian
"Must reading for anyone interested in the nation's most prominent civil liberties group. . . . Clearly organized and well written. . . . Highly recommended." -- CHOICE
"Must reading for anyone interested in the nation's most prominent civil liberties group. . . . Clearly organized and well written. . . . Highly recommended." --CHOICE
"Must reading for anyone interested in the nation's most prominent civil liberties group. . . . Clearly organized and well written. . . . Highly recommended." '”CHOICE
"We have needed [this] book for a long time. . . . Kutulas brings the story alive with rich detail." _ Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"We have needed [this] book for a long time. . . . Kutulas brings the story alive with rich detail." -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"We have needed [this] book for a long time. . . . Kutulas brings the story alive with rich detail." --Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Founded by radicals in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union experienced several key changes in its formative years. Judy Kutulas traces the history of the ACLU between 1930 and 1960, as the organization shifted from the fringe to the liberal mainstream of American society.In alternating chapters, Kutulas explores operations at the national level and among the group's local branches. To gain mainstream credibility, the radicals at ACLU headquarters became more professional, began using court challenges rather than direct action, and carefully chose their battles to focus on national security as much as on the protection of dissent. Meanwhile, the group's affiliates, separated from the institutionalization of the national office, maintained the idealism of defending the rights of all individuals, no matter how unpalatable their beliefs and activities.The shifts at the national level made the ACLU more government-friendly and less radical, but also, Kutulas argues, more timid and weak. Civil liberties activists in ACLU branches around the country ultimately pushed the organization to return to its radical roots in the 1960s. In an afterword, Kutulas addresses how post-9/11 America poses the familiar challenge of balancing national security and individual rights that came to the forefront in the early decades of the ACLU.
Main Description
Founded by radicals in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union experienced several key changes in its formative years. Judy Kutulas traces the history of the ACLU between 1930 and 1960, as the organization shifted from the fringe to the liberal mainstream of American society. In alternating chapters, Kutulas explores operations at the national level and among the group's local branches. To gain mainstream credibility, the radicals at ACLU headquarters became more professional, began using court challenges rather than direct action, and carefully chose their battles to focus on national security as much as on the protection of dissent. Meanwhile, the group's affiliates, separated from the institutionalization of the national office, maintained the idealism of defending the rights of all individuals, no matter how unpalatable their beliefs and activities. The shifts at the national level made the ACLU more government-friendly and less radical, but also, Kutulas argues, more timid and weak. Civil liberties activists in ACLU branches around the country ultimately pushed the organization to return to its radical roots in the 1960s. In an afterword, Kutulas addresses how post-9/11 America poses the familiar challenge of balancing national security and individual rights that came to the forefront in the early decades of the ACLU.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Becoming Chic: The National ACLU in the 1930sp. 16
Unnecessary Obstacles: ACLU Affiliates in the 1930sp. 42
Holding Us All Together: The ACLU, the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and Anticommunism, 1939-1941p. 64
Losing Our Influence: The National ACLU during World War IIp. 89
Sticking Their Necks Out: The Affiliates during World War IIp. 113
Nothing Accomplished, Nothing Done: The National ACLU after World War IIp. 136
Wedded to Caesar: The Affiliates after World War IIp. 163
Mutually Unhappy in Each Other's Company: Crisis and Resolutionp. 189
Afterwordp. 219
Percentage (and Number) of ACLU National Board Members, by Occupationp. 223
ACLU Membership Figures, Expenses, and Income, by Yearp. 224
Notesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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