Black Americans and Organized Labor: A New History

Paul D. Moreno

Published by Louisiana State University Press, 2006
ISBN 10: 080713094X / ISBN 13: 9780807130940
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Synopsis: Paul D. Moreno offers a bold reinterpretation—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 organization, 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, Isaac Myers and Booker T. Washington, and W. E. B. Du Bois and A. Philip Randolph. 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 twentieth-century liberal view came to override but never fully eradicate. He traces changing attitudes and practices from the simultaneous black migration to the North and consolidation of organized labor's power, though the confusing and conflicted post–World War II period, to the civil rights movement, and into the era of affirmative action. Along the way, he exposes the impact of federal and state employment policies, transformations in the southern economy, the role of blacks in the cold war political economy, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Maneuvering across a wide span of time and a broad array of issues, Moreno brings remarkable clarity to the question of the importance of race in labor organization. He impressively weaves together labor, policy, and African American history into a cogent, persuasive revisionist study that cannot be ignored.

About the Author: Paul D. Moreno is the author of From Direct Action to Affirmative Action: Fair Employment Law and Policy in America, 1933–1972. He is Grewcock Professor of History at Hillsdale College in Michigan and, in 2005-6, a visiting fellow at Princeton University's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

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Title: Black Americans and Organized Labor: A New ...
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication Date: 2006
Book Condition: Very Good

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Book Description Louisiana State Univ Pr, Baton Rouge, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. 1st. First printing. Hardcover, 8vo, 334 pp. Front pastedown endpaper & page edges stamped as review copy. Dj has tiny top edge tear, a few lightly soiled page margins, else Near Fine. Dj now protected in mylar. All domestic orders $100 and over will be upgraded to USPS Priority shipping at no additional cost. Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 69382

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