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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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The Lost Promise of the Long Civil Rights Movement

The Lost Promise of the Long Civil Rights Movement

(p.129) Chapter 9 The Lost Promise of the Long Civil Rights Movement
A Contest of Ideas

Nelson Lichtenstein

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Risa Goluboff's The Lost Promise of Civil Rights, which incorporates the perspective of labor and social historians who have posited the importance and power of a working-class-oriented civil rights movement in the 1940s. She finds that an alternative set of legal strategies and organizing initiatives was available to civil rights litigators, indeed that these more economically radical strategies were successfully deployed, and, that if they had been consistently pursued would have given this plebian civil rights orientation an embedded character in law and social policy during the decades to come. In effect, Goluboff posits in the most precise fashion an alternative definition to the meaning of what we have come to think of as civil rights law and litigation and then asks why this more proletarian version was marginalized in the years after 1950.

Keywords:   Risa Goluboff, The Lost Promise of Civil Rights, working class, civil rights movement, civil rights law

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