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Making Sense of American Liberalism$
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Jonathan Bell and Timothy Stanley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036866

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036866.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 19 January 2020

Labor, Liberalism, and the Democratic Party

Labor, Liberalism, and the Democratic Party

A Fruitful but Vexed Alliance

(p.229) 10 Labor, Liberalism, and the Democratic Party
Making Sense of American Liberalism

Nelson Lichtenstein

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details the troubled relationship between liberals and union activists. Although the second half of the twentieth century has seen serious reversals in the fortunes of organized labor, the rise of labor politics between 1935 and the 1960s left a lasting legacy. In many respects, labor unions in the New Deal era acted as the ideological lodestar of social democratic politics, pushing elected politicians to reconfigure the balance between management and labor in industrial relations policy. In more recent decades, a newly galvanized public-sector and service-sector union movement has breathed new life into the labor wing of the Democratic Party. This union has provided strong grassroots muscle to the Obama administration's attempts to reform the nation's labor laws and to provide publicly funded health care to American citizens.

Keywords:   liberals, union activists, organized labor, labor politics, New Deal era, public sector, service sector, Democratic Party, Obama administration

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