Taking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American Labor by Paul BuhleTaking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American Labor by Paul Buhle

Taking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American…

byPaul Buhle

Paperback | April 1, 1999

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In this original, colorful history of "business unionism," Paul Buhle explains how trade union leaders in the United States became remote from the workers they claimed to represent as they allied with the very corporate executives and government officials who persistently opposed labor's interests.

At the center of the tale are three of the most powerful labor leaders of the past century: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, and Lane Kirkland, successive presidents of the American Federation of Labor and its descendent, the AFL-CIO. Many other labor leaders, from John L. Lewis to Walter Reuther, receive in-depth treatment.

Taking Care of Business demonstrates how a union hierarchy heavily populated by former radicals thwarted women and people of color from joining unions, suppressed shop floor militance, and colluded with business and government at home and abroad. Buhle shows how these leaders defeated generations of radical union members who sought a more democratic, class-based approach for the movement.

Title:Taking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American…Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 0.88 inPublished:April 1, 1999Publisher:Monthly Review PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1583670033

ISBN - 13:9781583670033

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From Our Editors

The history of the labour movement comes to life primarily through the stories of three influential figures, Samuel Gompers, George Meany and Lane Kirkland, all former presidents of the American Federation of Labour. Taking Care of Business examines how high-level union and labour leaders gradually moved away from representing the workers’ interests, becoming allies of the government and various corporations. At the same time, the radical attitude of many of these leaders discouraged the advancement of women and minorities in the labour force.