This article examines the founding of Jobs with Justice, one of the most influential union-community coalitions of the post–New Deal order. More than two decades before the Occupy movement mobilized scorn against the “1 percent,” Jobs with Justice convened its coalitions by directing popular ire toward the “corporate robber barons.” While its anticorporate vision propelled its efforts to advance union struggle “beyond the ruins” of the Reagan era and early neoliberal reforms, it also overlapped with the populist contours of the ascendant New Right. By marshaling the moral weight of family, community, and Middle America, the coalition's vision of class and nation—through what the article terms its “ambivalent Americanism”—both animated and blurred the antagonism between workers and robber barons that the coalition so energetically developed.
Eric Larson; Ode to the American Century: Ambivalent Americanism and the Founding of the Jobs with Justice Coalition. Labor 1 September 2015; 12 (3): 53–74. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-2920364
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