Commonsense Anticommunism

In this surprising account, Jennifer Luff shows how the American Federation of Labor fanned popular anticommunism b

Author: Jennifer Luff

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807835418

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 366


Between the Great War and Pearl Harbor, conservative labor leaders declared themselves America's "first line of defense" against Communism. In this surprising account, Jennifer Luff shows how the American Federation of Labor fanned popular anticommunism b

Commonsense Anticommunism

Invariably, labor anticommunists added that desperation was the breeding ground of radicalism. Autocratic employers were the CP's best organizers. I call this approach “commonsense anticommunism.” I use the term “commonsense” in two ...

Author: Jennifer Luff

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807869895

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 746


Between the Great War and Pearl Harbor, conservative labor leaders declared themselves America's "first line of defense" against Communism. In this surprising account, Jennifer Luff shows how the American Federation of Labor fanned popular anticommunism but defended Communists' civil liberties in the aftermath of the 1919 Red Scare. The AFL's "commonsense anticommunism," she argues, steered a middle course between the American Legion and the ACLU, helping to check campaigns for federal sedition laws. But in the 1930s, frustration with the New Deal order led labor conservatives to redbait the Roosevelt administration and liberal unionists and abandon their reluctant civil libertarianism for red scare politics. That frustration contributed to the legal architecture of federal anticommunism that culminated with the McCarthyist fervor of the 1950s. Relying on untapped archival sources, Luff reveals how labor conservatives and the emerging civil liberties movement debated the proper role of the state in policing radicals and grappled with the challenges to the existing political order posed by Communist organizers. Surprising conclusions about familiar figures, like J. Edgar Hoover, and unfamiliar episodes, like a German plot to disrupt American munitions manufacture, make Luff's story a fresh retelling of the interwar years.

De Centering Cold War History

10 Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism, 32–59; William Preston, Jr., Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903–1933, 2nd ed. (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1963), 129. U.S. House Rules Committee, ...

Author: Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136184079

Category: History

Page: 244

View: 690


De-Centering Cold War History challenges the Cold War master narratives that focus on super-power politics by shifting our analytical perspective to include local-level experiences and regional initiatives that were crucial to the making of a Cold War world. Cold War histories are often told as stories of national leaders, state policies and the global confrontation that pitted a Communist Eastern Bloc against a Capitalist West. Taking a new analytical approach this book reveals unexpected complexities in the historical trajectory of the Cold War. Contributions from an international group of scholars take a fresh look at historical agency in different places across the world, including Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. This collaborative effort shapes a street-level history of the global Cold War era, one that uses the analysis of the 'local' to rethink and reframe the wider picture of the 'global', connecting the political negotiations of individuals and communities at the intersection of places and of meeting points between 'ordinary' people and political elites to the Cold War at large. Essential reading for all students of Cold War history.


... this speech that predated McCarthyism by some 30 years and we can profitably examine it to gain an understanding of what distinguished red scare anticommunism from what historian Jennifer Luff has called “commonsense anticommunism.

Author: Jonathan Michaels

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 9781135021221

Category: History

Page: 308

View: 183


In this succinct text, Jonathan Michaels examines the rise of anti-communist sentiment in the postwar United States, exploring the factors that facilitated McCarthyism and assessing the long-term effects on US politics and culture. McCarthyism:The Realities, Delusions and Politics Behind the 1950s Red Scare offers an analysis of the ways in which fear of communism manifested in daily American life, giving readers a rich understanding of this era of postwar American history. Including primary documents and a companion website, Michaels’ text presents a fully integrated picture of McCarthyism and the cultural climate of the United States in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Rethinking the 1950s

How Anticommunism and the Cold War Made America Liberal Jennifer A. Delton ... At this point, as historian Jennifer Luff expertly shows in Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties Between the World Wars, the AFL stepped up ...

Author: Jennifer A. Delton

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781107433953

Category: History

Page: 204

View: 128


Historians generally portray the 1950s as a conservative era when anticommunism and the Cold War subverted domestic reform, crushed political dissent, and ended liberal dreams of social democracy. These years, historians tell us, represented a turn to the right, a negation of New Deal liberalism, an end to reform. Jennifer A. Delton argues that, far from subverting the New Deal state, anticommunism and the Cold War enabled, fulfilled, and even surpassed the New Deal's reform agenda. Anticommunism solidified liberal political power and the Cold War justified liberal goals such as jobs creation, corporate regulation, economic redevelopment, and civil rights. She shows how despite President Eisenhower's professed conservativism, he maintained the highest tax rates in US history, expanded New Deal programs, and supported major civil rights reforms.

Loyalty and Liberty

... League of America and the Anticommunists of the Anglo-American Right, 1917–21”; Steve Rosswurm, The FBI and the Catholic Church, 1935–1962; Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars.

Author: Alex Goodall

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 9780252095313

Category: Political Science

Page: 344

View: 955


Loyalty and Liberty offers the first comprehensive account of the politics of countersubversion in the United States prior to the McCarthy era. Alex Goodall traces the course of American countersubversion over the first half of the twentieth century, culminating in the rise of McCarthyism and the Cold War. This sweeping study explores how antisubversive fervor was dampened in the 1920s in response to the excesses of World War I, transformed by the politics of antifascism in the Depression era, and rekindled in opposition to Roosevelt's ambitious New Deal policies in the later 1930s and 1940s. Varied interest groups such as business tycoons, Christian denominations, and Southern Democrats as well as the federal government pursued their own courses, which alternately converged and diverged, eventually consolidating into the form they would keep during the Cold War. Rigorous in its scholarship yet accessible to a wide audience, Goodall's masterful study shows how the opposition to radicalism became a defining ideological question of American life.

Contesting the Postwar City

In the midst of the strike, anticommunist CIO activists had wrenched control of the local CIO council away from ... eds., American Labor and the Cold War; Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the ...

Author: Eric Fure-Slocum

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781107245174

Category: History


View: 458


Focusing on mid-century Milwaukee, Eric Fure-Slocum charts the remaking of political culture in the industrial city. Professor Fure-Slocum shows how two contending visions of the 1940s city - working-class politics and growth politics - fit together uneasily and were transformed amid a series of social and policy clashes. Contests that pitted the principles of democratic access and distribution against efficiency and productivity included the hard-fought politics of housing and redevelopment, controversies over petty gambling, questions about the role of organized labor in urban life, and battles over municipal fiscal policy and autonomy. These episodes occurred during a time of rapid change in the city's working class, as African-American workers arrived to seek jobs, women temporarily advanced in workplaces, and labor unions grew. At the same time, businesses and property owners sought to re-establish legitimacy in the changing landscape. This study examines these local conflicts, showing how they forged the postwar city and laid a foundation for the neoliberal city.

Rehearsing Revolutions

See Jennifer Luff's chapter, “Becoming Commonsense Anti-Communists” in Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012), 62–118. 73. Ibid. 74.

Author: Mary McAvoy


ISBN: 9781609386412

Category: Amateur theater

Page: 266

View: 712


Between the world wars, several labor colleges sprouted up across the U.S. These schools, funded by unions, sought to provide members with adult education while also indoctrinating them into the cause. As Mary McAvoy reveals, a big part of that learning experience centered on the schools' drama programs. For the first time, Rehearsing Revolutions shows how these left-leaning drama programs prepared American workers for the "on-the-ground" activism emerging across the country. In fact, McAvoy argues, these amateur stages served as training grounds for radical social activism in early twentieth-century America. Using a wealth of previously unpublished material such as director's reports, course materials, playscripts, and reviews, McAvoy traces the programs' evolution from experimental teaching tool to radically politicized training that inspired overt--even militant--labor activism by the late 1930s. All the while, she keeps an eye on larger trends in public life, connecting interwar labor drama to post-war arts-based activism in response to McCarthyism, the Cold War, and the Civil Rights movement. Ultimately, McAvoy asks: What did labor drama do for the workers' colleges and why did they pursue it? She finds her answer through several different case studies in places like the Portland Labor College and the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.

Dissenting Traditions

... 10. to be revived and practiced as the foundation of. 163 On Polemics and Provocations 163 anti-Communists practiced “common sense.” See Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor

Author: Sean Carleton

Publisher: Athabasca University Press

ISBN: 9781771993111

Category: History

Page: 376

View: 474


The work of Bryan D. Palmer, one of North America’s leading historians, has influenced the fields of labour history, social history, discourse analysis, communist history, and Canadian history, as well as the theoretical frameworks surrounding them. Palmer’s work reveals a life dedicated to dissent and the difficult task of imagining alternatives by understanding the past in all of its contradictions, victories, and failures. Dissenting Traditions gathers Palmer’s contemporaries, students, and sometimes critics to examine and expand on the topics and themes that have defined Palmer’s career, from labour history to Marxism and communist politics. Paying attention to Palmer’s participation in key debates, contributors demonstrate that class analysis, labour history, building institutions, and engaging the public are vital for social change. In this moment of increasing precarity and growing class inequality, Palmer’s politically engaged scholarship offers a useful roadmap for scholars and activists alike and underlines the importance of working-class history. With contributions by Alan Campbell, Alvin Finkel, Sam Gindin, Gregory S. Kealey, John McIlroy, Kirk Niegarth, Bryan D. Palmer, Leo Panitch, Chad Pearson, Sean Purdy, and Nicholas Rogers.

Trotskyists on Trial

18 On ties between early labor anticommunists and the FBI, see, for example, Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

Author: Donna T. Haverty-Stacke

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 9781479849628

Category: Law

Page: 304

View: 833


Passed in June 1940, the Smith Act was a peacetime anti-sedition law that marked a dramatic shift in the legal definition of free speech protection in America by criminalizing the advocacy of disloyalty to the government by force. It also criminalized the acts of printing, publishing, or distributing anything advocating such sedition and made it illegal to organize or belong to any association that did the same. It was first brought to trial in July 1941, when a federal grand jury in Minneapolis indicted twenty-nine Socialist Workers Party members, fifteen of whom also belonged to the militant Teamsters Local 544. Eighteen of the defendants were convicted of conspiring to overthrow the government. Examining the social, political, and legal history of the first Smith Act case, this book focuses on the tension between the nation’s cherished principle of free political expression and the demands of national security on the eve of America’s entry into World War II. Based on newly declassified government documents and recently opened archival sources, Trotskyists on Trial explores the implications of the case for organized labor and civil liberties in wartime and postwar America. The central issue of how Americans have tolerated or suppressed dissent during moments of national crisis is not only important to our understanding of the past, but also remains a pressing concern in the post-9/11 world. This volume traces some of the implications of the compromise between rights and security that was made in the mid-twentieth century, offering historical context for some of the consequences of similar bargains struck today.

Empire of Timber

6 Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012); Richard White, “It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own”: A New History of the ...

Author: Erik Loomis

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781107125490

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 959


This is the first book to center labor unions as actors in American environmental policy.

Rights Delayed

On anticommunism in the labor movement in the United States in the 1930s, see Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties Between the World Wars (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012); Shelton ...

Author: Charles W. Romney

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190608880

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 853


Progressive unions flourished in the 1930s by working alongside federal agencies created during the New Deal. Yet in 1950, few progressive unions remained. Why? Most scholars point to domestic anti-communism and southern conservatives in Congress as the forces that diminished the New Deal state, eliminated progressive unions, and destroyed the radical potential of American liberalism. Rights Delayed: The American State and the Defeat of Progressive Unions argues that anti-communism and Congressional conservatism merely intensified the main reason for the decline of progressive unions: the New Deal state's focus on legal procedure. Initially, progressive unions thrived by embracing the procedural culture of New Deal agencies and the wartime American state. Between 1935 and 1945, unions mastered the complex rules of the NLRB and other federal entities by working with government officials. In 1946 and 1947, however, the emphasis on legal procedure made the federal state too slow to combat potentially illegal cooperation between employers and the Teamsters. Workers who supported progressive unions rallied around procedural language to stop what they considered Teamster collusion, but found themselves dependent on an ineffective federal state. The state became even less able to protect employees belonging to left-led unions after the Taft-Hartley Act's anti-communist provisions-and decisions by union leaders-limited access to the NLRB's procedures. From 1946 until 1950, progressive unions withered and eventually disappeared from the Pacific canneries as the unions failed to pay the cost of legal representation before the NLRB. Workers supporting progressive unions had embraced procedural language to claim their rights, but by 1950, those workers discovered that their rights had vanished in an endless legal discourse.

Socialism before Sanders

... elements of a more dispersed socialist movement. See, for instance, the Old Guard's reaction to EPIC in Warren, An Alternative Vision, 76. 21Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties Between the World Wars ...

Author: Jake Altman

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783030171766

Category: History

Page: 225

View: 828


The early years of the twentieth century are often thought of as socialism’s first heyday in the United States, when the Socialist Party won elections across the country and Eugene Debs ran for president from a prison cell, winning more than 900,000 votes. Less well-known is the socialist revival of the 1930s. Radicalized by the contradiction of crushing poverty and unimaginable wealth that existed side by side during the Great Depression, socialists built institutions, organized the unemployed, extended aid to the labor movement, developed local political movements, and built networks that would remain active in the struggle against injustice throughout the twentieth century. Jake Altman brings this overlooked moment in the history of the American left into focus, highlighting the leadership of women, the development of the Highlander Folk School and Soviet House, and the shift from revolutionary rhetoric to pragmatic reform by the close of the decade. As another socialist revival takes shape today, this book lays the groundwork for a more nuanced history of the movement in the United States.

From Red baiting to Blacklisting

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013. ———. Walter Reuther: The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit. New York: Basic Books, 1995. Luff, Jennifer. Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars.

Author: Barry B Witham


ISBN: 9780809337750

Category: Anti-communist movements

Page: 322

View: 945


"This book examines Manny Fried's career as a labor organizer and blacklisted citizen by exploring his major labor plays and the political atmosphere that nurtured them"--

Post Cold War Revelations and the American Communist Party

Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. Olmstead, Kathryn. “Blond Queens, Red Spiders, and Neurotic Old Maids: Gender and Espionage in the Early ...

Author: Vernon L. Pedersen

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781350135765

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 996


Of all the 'third party' movements in American history, none have been as controversial as the Communist Party of the United States of America. Although denounced as a tool of the Soviet Union, accused of espionage and charged with advocating the revolutionary overthrow of the American government, before WWII it had been an accepted part of the political landscape. This collection offers an intriguing insight into this controversial political party in light of the Moscow archives that were made accessible after the end of the Cold War. This collection of original essays explores new aspects in the history of American Communism, drawing on a range of documents from Moscow and Eastern Europe. Examining traditional subjects in the light of new evidence, the essays cover a range of topics including party leaders, espionage, campaigns against racism, the Spanish Civil War, communism and gender, the fate of members after the McCarthy era and ways in which Communists became Anti-Communists.

Informal Alliance

29 On socialist and labor anti-communism, see Angster, Konsenskapitalismus; and Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism. 30 Bilderberg Record of Meetings, Box 3, Bilderberg Archives, NANL 31 Ferguson and Nitze notes, Box 58, Nitze Papers, LOC.

Author: Thomas W. Gijswijt

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351181020

Category: History

Page: 310

View: 117


Informal Alliance is the first archive-based history of the secretive Bilderberg Group, the high-level transatlantic elite network founded at the height of the Cold War. Making extensive use of the recently opened Bilderberg Group archives as well as a wide range of private and official collections, it shows the significance of informal diplomacy in a fast-changing world of Cold War, decolonization, and globalization. By analyzing the global mindset of the postwar transatlantic elite and by focusing on private, transnational modes of communication and coordination, this study provides important new insights into the history of transatlantic relations, anti-Americanism, Western anti-communism, and European integration during the 1950s and 1960s. Informal Alliance also debunks the persistent myth that the Bilderberg Group was created by the CIA and repudiates widespread conspiracy theories alleging that Bilderberg was some sort of secret world government.

Conservatives and the Constitution

See also Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism. 119 Kristol made a similar point in commenting on the romanticization of nonconformism. Irving Kristol, “The Adversary Culture of the Intellectuals,” Encounter 53 (October 1979).

Author: Ken I. Kersch

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108696302

Category: Law


View: 972


Since the 1980s, a ritualized opposition in legal thought between a conservative 'originalism' and a liberal 'living constitutionalism' has obscured the aggressively contested tradition committed to, and mobilization of arguments for, constitutional restoration and redemption within the broader postwar American conservative movement. Conservatives and the Constitution is the first history of the political and intellectual trajectory of this foundational tradition and mobilization. By looking at the deep stories told either by identity groups or about what conservatives took to be flashpoint topics in the postwar period, Ken I. Kersch seeks to capture the developmental and integrative nature of postwar constitutional conservatism, challenging conservatives and liberals alike to more clearly see and understand both themselves and their presumed political and constitutional opposition. Conservatives and the Constitution makes a unique contribution to our understanding of modern American conservatism, and to the constitutional thought that has, in critical ways, informed and defined it.

The Communist Party on the American Waterfront

... Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars, notes a change in AFL tactics in the mid-1930s. Although opposed to the Party and aggressive in countering its efforts to radicalize the labor movement, ...

Author: Vernon L. Pedersen

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9781498598026

Category: History

Page: 232

View: 192


In the early years of the Great Depression, the Marine Workers Industrial Union (MWIU) was a colorful presence on the American Waterfront. In 1935, the MWIU seemed to vanish, closing its halls and stopping its publications. Vernon L. Pedersen convincingly demonstrates that the MWIU did not vanish—instead it was ordered by the Moscow-based Communist International to send its members into mainstream ALF unions and take over from the inside. Initiated by accident on the west coast and deliberately duplicated in the east, the Communists seized control of the west coast longshoremen’s union, destroyed the International Seamen’s Union, and created the Communist-dominated National Maritime Union.

Aleister Crowley in America

Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties betweenthe World Wars. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. Murphy, William M. Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats, 1839–1922.

Author: Tobias Churton

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781620556313

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 768

View: 937


An exploration of Crowley’s relationship with the United States • Details Crowley’s travels, passions, literary and artistic endeavors, sex magick, and psychedelic experimentation • Investigates Crowley’s undercover intelligence adventures that actively promoted U.S. involvement in WWI • Includes an abundance of previously unpublished letters and diaries Occultist, magician, poet, painter, and writer Aleister Crowley’s three sojourns in America sealed both his notoriety and his lasting influence. Using previously unpublished diaries and letters, Tobias Churton traces Crowley’s extensive travels through America and his quest to implant a new magical and spiritual consciousness in the United States, while working to undermine Germany’s propaganda campaign to keep the United States out of World War I. Masterfully recreating turn-of-the-century America in all its startling strangeness, Churton explains how Crowley arrived in New York amid dramatic circumstances in 1900. After other travels, in 1914 Crowley returned to the U.S. and stayed for five years: turbulent years that changed him, the world, and the face of occultism forever. Diving deeply into Crowley’s 5-year stay, we meet artists, writers, spies, and government agents as we uncover Crowley’s complex work for British and U.S. intelligence agencies. Exploring Crowley’s involvement with the birth of the Greenwich Village radical art scene, we discover his relations with writers Sinclair Lewis and Theodore Dreiser and artists John Butler Yeats, Leon Engers Kennedy, and Robert Winthrop Chanler while living and lecturing on now-vanished “Genius Row.” We experience his love affairs and share Crowley’s hard times in New Orleans and his return to health, magical dynamism, and the most colorful sex life in America. We examine his controversial political stunts, his role in the sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania, his making of the “Elixir of Life” in 1915, his psychedelic experimentation, his prolific literary achievements, and his run-in with Detroit Freemasonry. We also witness Crowley’s influence on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and rocket fuel genius Jack Parsons. We learn why J. Edgar Hoover wouldn’t let Crowley back in the country and why the FBI raided Crowley’s organization in LA. Offering a 20th-century history of the occult movement in the United States, Churton shows how Crowley’s U.S. visits laid the groundwork for the establishment of his syncretic “religion” of Thelema and the now flourishing OTO, as well as how Crowley’s final wish was to have his ashes scattered in the Hamptons.

The Secret War on the United States in 1915

Luff, Jennifer, Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars, University of North Carolina Press, Raleigh, NC, 2012. Machado, Manuel A. Jr., Centaur of the North: Francisco Villa, the Mexican Revolution, ...

Author: Heribert von Feilitzsch

Publisher: Henselstone Verlag LLC

ISBN: 9780985031763

Category: History

Page: 378

View: 534


The Secret War Council, Germany’s spy organization in New York, received orders from Berlin to stop the flow of munitions through terrorism in January 1915. German agents in the U.S. firebombed freighters on the high seas, incited labor unrest, fomented troubles along the Mexican-American border, and damaged or destroyed dozens of American factories and logistics installations. The German secret war against the United States in 1915, its discovery and publication, combined with the disastrous sinking of the Lusitania in May of that year, did much to prepare the American public to finally accept joining the Entente powers against Germany in 1917. This is the story of a group of German agents in the United States, who executed this mission.