Arthur Goldberg is perhaps best known as the Supreme Court Justice who, at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson, stepped aside to become Ambassador to the United Nations so that Johnson could appoint his pal Abe Fortas to the high court. David Stebenne's political biography, however, focuses on the period from 1948 to 1961, a time when organized labor's power and prosperity were at their peak and Goldberg was general counsel for the United Steelworkers of America. Stebenne sees, even in those years, the beginning of big labor's decline and the end of the postwar New Deal consensus.
From Library Journal
A prototypical New Deal liberal, Goldberg rose through the ranks of organized labor to become Secretary of Labor, Supreme Court justice, and U.S. ambassador to the UN. Stebenne has intentionally limited his scope to concentrate on Goldberg's work as chief counsel to the CIO (and later the AFL-CIO) in the years following World War II. The result is a comprehensive portrait of the U.S. labor movement during the period, but it does not make for a good biography. We learn that Goldberg was an excellent negotiator and a man of integrity, but we don't really get to know the person. Not only are Goldberg's background and life not discussed, but his important work on the Supreme Court and in the UN are given short shrift. Not recommended as biography, but students of U.S labor might profit.?Gary Williams, Southeastern Ohio Regional Lib., Caldwell
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