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Union-Free America: Workers and Antiunion Culture (Working Class in American History) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0252032714
ISBN-10: 0252032713
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Editorial Reviews


"Lawrence Richards has written a challenging and important book that should be read by all interested in the American labor movement. More, it should be read by all interested in the evolution of America a a culture and a democratic society, by all of us."--EH.NET




"A thoroughly researched and a well organized and very readable account of the problems that have historically confronted unions in America."--Labour History


"A compelling and provocative framework to reassess the long-term decline of popular support for unions in American society."--Labour/Le Travail

"This work should help reorient the scholarship in a field that has been adrift. Recommended."--Choice


"This is obviously an important and thought-provoking book. . . . I recommend it highly.”--Labor Studies Journal

Book Description

How antiunionism shapes the hearts and minds of American workers
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Working Class in American History
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1 edition (June 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252032713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252032714
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,465,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book begins with a survey of common American views of unions throughout history. Before the New Deal, organized labor was often believed to be made of immigrants who threatened the social disorder and infected the body politic with left wing ideas. Richards begins his citation of primary sources--popular magazines, journals of opinion, movies, etc.--when he moves to discussion on how views of organized changed during the Great Depression. Businessmen fell into disrepute during the Depression. Organized labor came to be viewed no longer as a menace but a champion of the underdog. Unions came to be accepted as part of society but Richards shows that at the same time negative connotations became attached to unions. Richards cites one Gallup Poll in the early 1940's where close to three quarters of Americans agreed with the statement that "many" union leaders were racketeers. Moreover organized labor came to be seen as having achieved such gains that unionized workers were close to being in the upper echelons of American society. Richards quotes a Saturday Evening Post article which stated that the days of union workers getting beaten bloody in the streets by cops were long past. Mass circulation journals like the Post, Reader's Digest and Life magazine carried stories about the luxurious offices of exceedingly overpaid union bosses. Unions had brought an end to Dickensian labor in the US but now they threatened the rights of other groups in society. Unions were increasingly seen as narrow special interest groups who pursued better wages and better conditions no matter what the costs to the health of their employer or the needs of consumers.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The entitlement mentality, labor unions we can do without and they are.
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