Rediscovering American Labor
IT HAS been almost two decades since the labor movement went out of fashion among liberal and radical intellectuals. Today it is apparent that something of a change is taking place. George Wald, the Harvard scientist who has become a spokesman for academic radicalism, recently brought labor leaders and intellectuals together for a “dialogue.” According to a statement issued by Wald and his colleagues, cooperation between academics and labor “… would give the academic community what it now most lacks; a base in the outside community.” Jimmy Breslin, who keeps an eye on Brooklyn and Queens for Manhattan’s beau monde, has been warning that unless the peace movement reaches the workers, more heads will be broken. The Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions has sent down a report on the life of an electrician from its Olympian vantage-point in Santa Barbara. The sociological press is full of discussions about “white ethnics,” a suitably non-controversial, American term for the working class. Here and there one begins to hear Democratic politicians advertising themselves as candidates who can carry the blue-collar vote.
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