Download Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in by Kenneth D. Durr PDF

By Kenneth D. Durr

During this nuanced examine white working-class existence and politics in twentieth-century the US, Kenneth Durr takes readers into the neighborhoods, offices, and group associations of blue-collar Baltimore within the many years after global conflict II. not easy notions that the "white backlash" of the Sixties and Seventies used to be pushed via expanding race resentment, Durr info the increase of a working-class populism formed through distrust of the capacity and ends of postwar liberalism within the face of city decline. Exploring the results of desegregation, deindustrialization, recession, and the increase of city crime, Durr exhibits how valid financial, social, and political grievances confident white working-class Baltimoreans that they have been threatened extra by means of the activities of liberal policymakers than by way of the incursions of city blacks. whereas acknowledging the parochialism and racial exclusivity of white working-class existence, Durr adopts an empathetic view of employees and their associations. in the back of the Backlash melds ethnic, hard work, and political background to color a wealthy portrait of city life--and the sweeping social and financial alterations that reshaped America's towns and politics within the past due 20th century.

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Extra info for Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980

Sample text

On the contrary, they valued a government that for the first time seemed to champion their interests. Newly secure labor unions were beginning to raise wages and improve workplace conditions, and the expanding economy promised plentiful jobs and prosperous communities. But if they did not reject the legacy of the New Deal in the late 1940s and early 1950s, working-class Baltimoreans did begin to discount New Dealers. The rise of anticommunism in the postwar years spurred the construction of a new populist class politics.

73 More disliked the leisure activities on which they spent those wages. ’’ 74 ‘‘This part of town had a bad name,’’ one second-generation Italian woman recalled later; ‘‘the bars were lousy . . ’’ 75 ‘‘Lousy’’ or not, the bars were also becoming increasingly unfamiliar places to Baltimore natives. 76 Working-class home owners were especially distressed at the toll the influx took on their neighborhoods. 77 Some of the criticism reflected the biases of the observers. 78 Despite the stereotyping and the hostility from both sides exhibited in the flap about the poem ‘‘Beloved Baltimore,’’ most migrants were clearly industrious.

95 By the war’s midpoint, a liberal leadership had begun to coalesce in Baltimore. It included officers of the state and local cio, middle-class whites, many of them associated with the Union for Democratic Action (uda), and civil rights leaders affiliated with the naacp and the Urban League. Together, they helped make Baltimore politics New Deal politics. The city’s cio unions banded together to form the Baltimore Industrial 20 a contentious coalition Union Council in July 1937. 96 Both groups, recognizing that industrial unionism owed its existence to New Deal support, were avowedly political in orientation.

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