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Book Cover
Author Davin, Eric Leif.

Title Crucible of freedom : workers' democracy in the industrial heartland, 1914-1960 / Eric Leif Davin
Published Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, [2010]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (ix, 453 pages)
Contents The workers' New Deal -- The workers mobilize -- The sources of solidarity, 1914-1930 -- From aliens to Americans -- Ambiguous allies -- A choice of champions -- Storming the Bastille, 1930-1934 -- The workers' real deal, 1935-1937 -- Thermidor, deadlock, and consolidation, 1938-1940 -- Equality, solidarity, and a fair deal, 1940-1948 -- No retreat, no surrender, 1949-1960 -- All that is solid melts into air -- The crucible of freedom
Summary This book explores the relation between democracy and industrialization in United States history. Over the course of the 1930s, the political center almost disappeared as the Democratic New Deal became the litmus test of class, with blue collar workers providing its bedrock of support while white collar workers and those in the upper-income levels opposed it. By 1948 the class cleavage in American politics was as pronounced as in many of the Western European countries-such as France, Italy, Germany, or Britain-with which we usually associate class politics. Working people created a new America in the 1930s and 1940s which was a fundamental departure from the feudalistic and hierarchical America that existed before. They won the political rights of American citizenship which had been previously denied them. They democratized labor-capital relations and gained more economic security than they had ever known. They obtained more economic opportunity for them and their children than they had ever known and they created a respect for ethnic workers, which had not previously existed. In the process, class politics re-defined the political agenda of America as-for the first time in American history-the political universe polarized along class lines. Eric Leif Davin explores the meaning of the New Deal political mobilization by ordinary people by examining the changes it brought to the local, county, and state levels in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and Pennsylvania as a whole
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Industrial relations -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Labor -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
New Deal, 1933-1939.
Working class -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 073914572X (electronic bk.)
9780739145722 (electronic bk.)