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A Contest of IdeasCapital, Politics, and Labor$
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Nelson Lichtenstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037856

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037856.001.0001

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C. Wright Mills

C. Wright Mills

Chapter:
(p.209) Chapter 15 C. Wright Mills
Source:
A Contest of Ideas
Author(s):

Nelson Lichtenstein

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037856.003.0016

This chapter presents a portrait of university sociologist C. Wright Mills. His book The New Men of Power is a study of trade unions and their leaders, the American political scene, and the prospects for a radicalized democracy in the years just after World War II. When Mills published the book in 1948, it identified a newly empowered set of strategic actors who led the nation's most important progressive institutions, “the only organizations capable of stopping the main drift towards war and slump.” But unlike his politically acute, agenda-setting volumes published during the 1950s, of which White Collar and The Power Elite are the best known, Mills' equally expansive probe into the meaning and future of U.S. trade unionism quickly fell into the shadows.

Keywords:   The New Men of Power, trade unions, union leaders, C. Wright Mills, radicalized democracy

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