Running Steel, Running America: Race, Economic Policy, and the Decline of Liberalism


Using the steel industry to examine liberal policies and priorities after World War II, Stein shows that economic policy—not racial conflict—led to the feeble liberalism of the 1990s.

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Using the steel industry to examine liberal policies and priorities after World War II, Stein shows that economic policy—not racial conflict—led to the feeble liberalism of the 1990s.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
According to Stein, the American steel companies and their workers were at the center of the New Deal compact between capital and labor, as well as of the racial changes of the '50s and '60s and of the economic crises of the '70s and 1980. Furthermore, government policies during the Cold War encouraged the construction of steel mills in friendly countries, even at the expense of the domestic industry. Consequently, it was global markets that largely laid down the terms of settlement of the problems of U.S. mills. Years of labor-management conflict followed. This is a detailed study with a highly ambitious premise -- to show, among other things, the long-term impact of the steel industry on postwar American liberalism -- but the book is marred by turgid writing and loose organization. -- Harry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter College, New York
From the Publisher
Few serious historians of the postwar United States can afford not to read [this book].

Law and History Review

An original, well-argued, and thought-provoking account of the American steel industry in the post-World War II world.

Labor History

This is a marvelous and important book, an immaculately researched, powerfully written analysis.

Business History

[A] passionate book.

Reviews in American History

[A] triumph of heroic research and clear thinking, and essential reading for anyone who cares about this country's festering race problems.

David Brody, author of In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807824146
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 10/5/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.43 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Stein, professor of history at the Graduate School and City College of the City University of New York, is author of The World of Marcus Garvey: Race and Class in Modern Society.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Politics of Steel Fundamentalism: The Long 1950s 7
2 Birmingham Before and After King: Racial Change in Steel 37
3 The Strange Career of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Segregation of Racial and Economic Policies 69
4 Title VII in the Mills, Agencies, and Courts: Theories and Practices 89
5 Tales of Lackawanna and Sparrows Point: Implementing the Kerner Commission Report 121
6 Litigation Is Everything: The Nixon Years 147
7 The Limits of Fair Employment: The Consent Decrees and the Economic Crisis of the 1970s 169
8 U.S. Foreign and Domestic Policies in Steel: The Creation of Conflict, 1945-1974 197
9 The Locomotive Loses Power: Jimmy Carter's Industrial and Trade Policies 229
10 An Industrial Policy for Steel? The Decline of the Democratic Party 253
11 Steel Is Not So Fundamental: The Reagan Reconstruction and Contemporary America 273
Conclusion: Steel and the History of Postwar America 309
Notes 325
Index 389
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