American Labor and Postwar Italy, 1943-1953: A Study of Cold War Politics

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9780804715799: American Labor and Postwar Italy, 1943-1953: A Study of Cold War Politics
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The United States first encountered the responsibilities and complexities of being a great power during the postwar years in Italy. This study of American intervention in Italian politics after World War II shows how that intervention was crucial in the attempt to reconstruct postwar Italy as an ally in the growing Cold War with the Soviet Union. It is also a study of the cooperation of the U.S. State Department, American intelligence agencies, and the American Labor movement in this effort. The story in Italy was in many ways a microcosm of American policy toward all of European labor: to deny the Communists control of postwar labor movements. Communist unions were seen as Trojan horses whose primary mission was to disrupt the reconstruction of capitalist economies and pluralistic democracies. The State Department was convinced that the Communists were a powerful threat to the harmonious labor-management relations that were seen as necessary for rebuilding Western Europe on a free market basis. It enlisted the enthusiastic support of the American labor movement, most notably the American Federation of Labor, which had a long history of anticommunism. This alliance continues today in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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