In the 1950s, the exclusion of women and of black and Latino men from higher-paying jobs was so universal as to seem normal to most Americans. Today, diversity in the workforce is a point of pride. How did such a transformation come about?
In this bold and groundbreaking work, Nancy MacLean shows how African-American and later Mexican-American civil rights activists and feminists concluded that freedom alone would not suffice: access to jobs at all levels is a requisite of full citizenship. Tracing the struggle to open the American workplace to all, MacLean chronicles the cultural and political advances that have irrevocably changed our nation over the past fifty years.
Freedom Is Not Enough reveals the fundamental role jobs play in the struggle for equality. We meet the grassroots activistsrank-and-file workers, community leaders, trade unionists, advocates, lawyersand their allies in government who fight for fair treatment, as we also witness the conservative forces that assembled to resist their demands. Weaving a powerful and memorable narrative, MacLean demonstrates the life-altering impact of the Civil Rights Act and the movement for economic advancement that it fostered.
The struggle for jobs reached far beyond the workplace to transform American culture. MacLean enables us to understand why so many came to see good jobs for all as the measure of full citizenship in a vital democracy. Opening up the workplace, she shows, opened minds and hearts to the genuine inclusion of all Americans for the first time in our nation’s history.
Nancy MacLean is William H. Chafe Professor of History at Duke University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Prologue: Jobs and Belonging
Part I: African Americans Shake the Old Order
1. The Rightness of Whiteness
2. The Fight Begins
3. Civil Rights at Work
Part II: Others Reposition Themselves
4. Women Challenge "Jane Crow"
5. Are Mexican Americans "Whites" or "People of Color"?
6. Jewish Americans Divide over Justice
7. Conservatives Shift from "Massive Resistance" to "Color-Blindness"
Part III: The Challenge of the New Order
8. The Lonesomeness of Pioneering
9. The Struggle for Inclusion since the Reagan Era
Abbreviations in Notes
What People are Saying About This
There is a power in the tale [MacLean] tells--of a world remade and then of reform tragically deflected--that makes this a can't-put-down book. It will spark vigorous argument and provocative discourse. It may even spur some improvements in our public life.
A brilliant synthesis studded with dramatic tales, Freedom is Not Enough effectively situates the demand for equal access to jobs as the still unresolved issue of the 21st century. MacLean writes with passion and commitment. Alice Kessler-Harris, author of In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America
Linda K. Kerber
There is a power in the tale [MacLean] tells--of a world remade and then of reform tragically deflected--that makes this a can't-put-down book. It will spark vigorous argument and provocative discourse. It may even spur some improvements in our public life. Linda K. Kerber, author of No Constitutional Right to be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship
William H. Chafe
With a sweep rare in history books, Nancy MacLean shows how affirmative action and the civil rights movement transformed the experience of every group in American society during the last half century. A bold and dramatic contribution. William H. Chafe, Professor of History, Duke University, and past-president of the Organization of American Historians
Robin D. G. Kelley
By placing Black and Latino struggles for jobs and justice at the center of her story, Nancy MacLean has boldly re-written the history of the Civil Rights movement as well as 20th century American political and economic history. While lunch counters were powerful symbolic sites of contestation, the transformation of the workplace holds the secret to the transformation of America. More than a hamburger, indeed. Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
Nancy MacLean has written a powerful, important and luminous account of the uncanny synergy between three social movements: the magisterial civil rights struggle for jobs and freedom, the feminist quest for equity in the late 20th century, and the conservative political jujitsu that adopted the rhetoric of inclusion in order to pull the rug out from under the very idea of governmental reforms.
Lani Guinier, co-author of The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy