Arthur J. Goldberg: New Deal Liberal

David L. Stebenne, Author, Daniel L. Stebenne, Author Oxford University Press, USA $125 (576p) ISBN 978-0-19-507105-4
Embattled liberal Arthur Goldberg (1908-1990) left a mixed historical legacy, in the judgment of this detailed political biography. As Kennedy's secretary of labor, he fought to preserve the postwar New Deal consensual contract between management and labor that he had helped forge as general counsel for the CIO and the United Steelworkers of America. But his progressive package calling for a minimum-wage increase and public works programs was much more ambitious than the modest antirecession package JFK adopted, and Goldwater's plan to alleviate poverty and unemployment through greater government expenditures was rejected when JFK refused to increase taxes on the rich. As Supreme Court justice (1962-1965), Goldberg strengthened organized labor's bargaining power and extended protection of citizens' civil rights. As U.S. ambassador to the UN, a post from which he resigned in 1968, Goldberg achieved notable successes as global peacemaker, yet his primary objective--negotiating a Vietnam peace accord--eluded him as LBJ escalated the war. Stebenne, who teaches history at Ohio State Univ., interviewed Goldberg between 1981 and 1990 and had access to his papers, making this dense study, based on a dissertation, a valuable source for students of labor history. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/27/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Open Ebook - 570 pages - 978-1-4294-0112-8
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