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By Nelson Lichtenstein

For greater than thirty years Nelson Lichtenstein has deployed his scholarship--on hard work, politics, and social thought--to chart the heritage and customers of a revolutionary the US. A Contest of Ideas collects and updates lots of Lichtenstein's such a lot provocative and arguable essays and reviews.

These incisive writings hyperlink the destiny of the hard work flow to the ameliorations within the form of worldwide capitalism, to the increase of the civil rights flow, and to the activists and intellectuals who've performed such very important roles. Tracing large styles of political proposal, Lichtenstein deals very important views at the dating of work and the nation, the tensions that typically exist among a tradition of rights and the assumption of team spirit, and the increase of conservatism in politics, legislations, and highbrow lifestyles.

The quantity closes with images of 5 activist intellectuals whose paintings has been important to the conflicts that interact the exertions flow, public coverage, and political tradition.

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Extra resources for A Contest of Ideas: Capital, Politics, and Labor

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C. Wright Mills captured the hopes and fears of this labor metaphysic in his 1948 study of the that leadership strata, The New Men of Power: To have an American labor movement capable of carrying out the program of the left, making allies among the middle class, and moving upstream against the main drift, there must be a rank and file of vigorous workers, a brace of labor intellectuals, and a set of politically alert labor leaders. There must be the power and there must be the intellect. Yet neither the intellectuals nor the workers at large are in a position to take up an alliance and fight against the great trend.

All of this caught us by surprise, and by “us” I don’t just mean labor historians. For decades neither economists nor politicians gave retailing the respect it deserved. Shopping was what we did once all the heavy lifting had been sweated out of us: after the steel had been poured, the automobiles assembled, the skyscrapers built, and the crops harvested. But the new and innovative set of great retailers that emerged by the 1990s were not just huge employers with an enormous stream of revenue; their connections with a global manufacturing network were practically incestuous.

Second, this process of class recomposition was accompanied by an ideological transformation that pushed the issue of African American political and economic rights to near the top of American liberalism’s immediate postwar agenda. Just as the New Deal had offered a new kind of pluralist citizenship to immigrant America, so too did World War II engender a vibrant rights-conscious sense of entitlement among African Americans. This was not because the army or the mobilization agencies or even the newly established Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) were staunch friends of civil rights liberalism.

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