The legislative attack on public sector unionism that gave rise to the uproar in Wisconsin and other union strongholds in 2011 was not just a reaction to the contemporary economic difficulties faced by the government. Rather, it was the result of a longstanding political and ideological hostility to the very idea of trade unionism put forward by a conservative movement whose roots go as far back as the Haymarket Riot of 1886. The controversy in Madison and other state capitals reveals that labor's status and power has always been at the core of American conservatism, today as well as a century ago. The Right and Labor in America explores the multifaceted history and range of conservative hostility toward unionism, opening the door to a fascinating set of individuals, movements, and institutions that help explain why, in much of the popular imagination, union leaders are always "bosses" and trade union organizers are nothing short of "thugs." The contributors to this volume explore conservative thought about unions, in particular the ideological impulses, rhetorical strategies, and political efforts that conservatives have deployed to challenge unions as a force in U.S. economic and political life over the century. Among the many contemporary books on American parties, personalities, and elections that try to explain why political disputes are so divisive, this collection of original and innovative essays is essential reading.
Introduction. Entangled Histories: American Conservatism and the U.S. Labor Movement in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries -Nelson Lichtenstein and Elizabeth Tandy Shermer I. THE CONSERVATIVE SEARCH FOR SOCIAL HARMONY Chapter 1. Unions, Modernity, and the Decline of American Economic Nationalism -Andrew Wender Cohen Chapter 2. The American Legion and Striking Workers During the Interwar Period -Christopher Nehls Chapter 3. Democracy or Seduction? The Demonization of Scientific Management and the Deification of Human Relations -Chris Nyland and Kyle Bruce II. REGION, RACE, AND RESISTANCE TO ORGANIZED LABOR Chapter 4. Capital Flight, "States' Rights," and the Anti-Labor Offensive After World War II -Tami J. Friedman Chapter 5. Orval Faubus and the Rise of Anti-Labor Populism in Northwestern Arkansas -Michael Pierce Chapter 6. "Is Freedom of the Individual Un-American?" Right-to-Work Campaigns and Anti-Union Conservatism, 1943 1958 -Elizabeth Tandy Shermer III. APPROPRIATING THE LANGUAGE OF CIVIL RIGHTS Chapter 7. Singing "The Right-to-Work Blues": The Politics of Race in the Campaign for "Voluntary Unionism" in Postwar California -Reuel Sc hiller Chapter 8. Whose Rights? Litigating the Right to Work, 1940-1980 -Sophia Z. Lee Chapter 9. "Such Power Spells Tyranny": Business Opposition to Administrative Governance and the Transformation of Fair Employment Policy in Illinois, 1945 1964 -Alexander Gourse IV. THE SPECTER OF UNION POWER AND CORRUPTION Chapter 10. Pattern for Partnership: Putting Labor Racketeering on the Nation's Agenda in the Late 1950s -David Witwer Chapter 11. "Compulsory Unionism": Sylvester Petro and the Career of an Anti-Union Idea, 1957 1987 -Joseph McCartin and Jean-Christian Vinel Chapter 12. Wal-Mart, John Tate, and Their Anti-Union America -Nelson Lichtenstein Chapter 13. "All Deals Are Off": The Dunlop Commission and Employer Opposition to Labor Law Reform -John Logan Chapter 14. Is Democracy in the Cards? A Democratic Defense of the Employee Free Choice Act -Susan Orr Notes List of Contributors Index