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Pure and Simple Politics
The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881–1917

$45.99

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521028806

$ 45.99
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About the Authors
  • Scholarship on American labor politics has been dominated by the view that the American Federation of Labor, the dominant labor organization, rejected political action in favor of economic strategies. Based upon extensive research into labor and political party records, this study demonstrates that, despite the common belief, the AFL devoted great attention to political activity. The organization's main strategy, however, which Julie Greene terms 'pure and simple politics', dictated that trade unionists alone should shape American labor politics. Exploring the period from 1881 to 1917, Pure and Simple Politics focuses on the quandaries this approach generated for American trade unionists. Politics for AFL members became a highly contested terrain, as leaders attempted to implement a strategy which many rank-and-file workers rejected. Furthermore, its drive to achieve political efficacy increasingly exposed the AFL to forces beyond its control, as party politicians and other individuals began seeking to influence labor's political strategy and tactics.

    • A most comprehensive overview of the evolution of US labor politics from 1881 to 1917
    • Changes our understanding of the American labor movement and the AFL
    • Sheds light on relations between newly powerful interest groups, major political parties, and the expanding state
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521028806
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.446kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    Introduction
    Part I. The Rise of Pure and Simple Politics:
    1. Building the federation
    2. The revolt against party slavery
    3. Labor's new century
    Part II. The Strike at the Ballot Box:
    4. A popular uprising of honest men
    5. Delivering the labor vote
    6. Party politics and workers' discontent
    Part III. The Retreat from Popular Politics:
    7. Quiet campaigns
    8. The making of labor's democracy
    Conclusion
    Index.

  • Author

    Julie Greene, University of Colorado, Boulder

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