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

By Kenneth D. Durr

During this nuanced examine white working-class existence and politics in twentieth-century the USA, Kenneth Durr takes readers into the neighborhoods, offices, and group associations of blue-collar Baltimore within the many years after global struggle II. demanding notions that the "white backlash" of the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies used to be pushed through expanding race resentment, Durr info the increase of a working-class populism formed by way of distrust of the potential 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 indicates how valid fiscal, social, and political grievances confident white working-class Baltimoreans that they have been threatened extra through the activities of liberal policymakers than by means of the incursions of city blacks. whereas acknowledging the parochialism and racial exclusivity of white working-class existence, Durr adopts an empathetic view of staff and their associations. in the back of the Backlash melds ethnic, hard work, and political heritage 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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House Committee Investigating National Defense Migration in July 1941. ’’ 81 White native Baltimoreans were only temporarily ambivalent about the southern newcomers. 83 A new white working class had united with surprising ease because in the neighborhoods and on the job, everybody was white. But this was not the case at the polls. Mobilizing Workers and Votes Before World War II about 35,000 union members lived in Baltimore, most of them affiliated with the afl. 84 The city and state cio fought hard for these gains, but ultimately the war made the difference.

They harnessed anticommunism to two other ‘‘isms’’: anti-elitism and racism. Before Pearl Harbor, another outspoken Catholic, Father John L. 43 Cronin’s constituents, however, did not share Bazinet’s concerns about an all-powerful government. ’’ 45 Cronin had hit on a significant weakness. 46 Equally effective was the reliance of Cronin and his followers on racial appeals. The communists in the cio, especially in the shipyards, were among the strongest civil rights advocates in the city, but shipyard workers were firm defenders of racial prerogatives, as they demonstrated in the July 1943 ‘‘hate strike’’ at the Sparrows Point yard.

E. T. 106 The chief objective of all these liberal groups, both black and white, was to turn out the vote. The first test of the new activist coalition came in the 1943 mayor’s race. The incumbent Howard Jackson, sensing trouble, had entered into an alliance with old rival William Curran, guaranteeing Jackson all the votes that the Baltimore machine could muster. 107 It took a Republican—although not the Republican Party, which never really operated as such in Baltimore—to break the old-line Democratic hold on the city.

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