Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor

Steven Fraser, Author Free Press $32.95 (688p) ISBN 978-0-02-910630-3
Onetime radical revolutionary from a Lithuanian village, Sidney Hillman (1887-1946) eked out a living as a cutter in Chicago's garment trade, then rose to become an influential labor leader and a member of FDR's inner circle. Due to his efforts, the Democratic Party of the mid-1930s came close to becoming the recognized party of organized labor. The nation's first political action committee, the CIO-PAC, which Hillman created, pioneered demands in 1944 for racial equality, women's right to work, equal pay and federally subsidized child care. Yet, in his close association with New Deal politicians, Hillman saw his moral authority erode among comrades as the labor bureaucracy he helped erect became increasingly ossified. Foster, executive editor of Basic Books, explores these contradictions in a superb, vibrant biography that mirrors American labor's ``sea change'' from insurgent proletariat to a force integrated into capitalist mass culture. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Paperback - 688 pages - 978-0-8014-8126-0
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