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Racial Integration in Corporate America, 1940–1990


  • Date Published: December 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521730808

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About the Authors
  • In the space of about thirty years – from 1964 to 1994 – American corporations abandoned racially exclusionary employment policies and embraced some form of affirmative action to diversify their workforces. It was an extraordinary transformation, which most historians attribute to civil rights activists, federal legislation, and labor unions. This is the first book to examine the role of corporations in that transformation. Whereas others emphasize corporate obstruction, this book argues that there were corporate executives and managers who promoted fair employment and equal employment opportunity long before the federal government required it, and who thereby helped prepare the corporate world for racial integration. The book examines the pioneering corporations that experimented with integration in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as corporate responses to the civil rights movement and urban crisis in the 1960s and 1970s and the widespread adoption of affirmative action in the 1980s and 1990s.

    • First book on subject to be told from perspective of corporations, based on corporate sources
    • Based on corporate archives, management textbooks, and trade journals
    • Will be regarded as controversial because most historians take for granted that corporations resisted racial integration
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521730808
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 13 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Color-Blind Groundwork, 1940–61:
    1. The African American struggle for jobs
    2. Fair employment is good business
    3. Racial liberalism and the mid-twentieth century executive
    4. Human relations in management
    5. Human relations at International Harvester and Pitney-Bowes
    Part II. Color-Conscious Ascendancy, 1961–1990:
    6. How compliance became voluntarism
    7. The National Association of Manufacturers helps out
    8. Changing hiring criteria
    9. The Du Pont company's affirmative action efforts
    Epilogue: from affirmative action to diversity.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Development of America ll
  • Author

    Jennifer Delton, Skidmore College, New York
    Jennifer Delton received her Ph.D. in History from Princeton University and is currently Associate Professor of History at Skidmore College. She is the author of Making Minnesota Liberal: Civil Rights and the Transformation of the Democratic Party (2002) and several articles on race, politics, and labor. She is a regular contributor to Salmagundi Magazine.

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