Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 21:23:10 -0800
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Art McGee <amcgee@IGC.ORG>
Subject: NEW BOOK: The Color of Politics
Comments: To:,

---------- Begin Forward By Art McGee ----------
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 15:25:11 -0500
From: Mike Goldfield <>
Subject: New Book - Goldfield - The Color of Politics

Precis of The Color of Politics: Race, Class, and the Mainsprings of American Politics by Michael Goldfield

From Mike Goldfield, 26 October 1998

In this penetrating new examination of the American political scene, social scientist Michael Goldfield traces our current political morass to its roots in the racism of the labor movement after World War II. Goldfield begins by showing how race has played a central role at every historical turning point in American history, from the founding of the Republic to the contemporary era. Today’s most vexing political issues (affirmativew action, welfare reform, immigration, crime, and the death penalty, among others) clearly reflect that sad legacy, but less evident is the role of racism in the long decline of the labor movement.

Despite tentative multiracial efforts during the Great Depression, organized labor gradually abandoned minority workers during World War II. By the end of the 1940s the Congress of Industrial Organizations pulled the plug on its failed Operation Dixie and soon after purged the CIO’s most racially progressive elements. Goldfield explains how these actions cleared the way for the 1948 presidential campaign and culminated in Richard Nixon’s (and ultimately Reagan, Bush, and Gingrich’s) divisive southern strategy.

A well-documented and completely accessible look at race in the history of American politics, Goldfield’s book is an important explanation of our nation’s increasing polarization as well as a constructive blueprint for the future.