Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf’s Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South: White Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie examines how the ideas, institutions, and practices of white Protestant evangelicals responded to the regional organizing campaign that the CIO launched in southern states in May 1946. The authors’ proposition that postwar unionization efforts assumed varying and contested religious meanings among workers, employers, and pro- and antiunionization spokespersons alike is a useful reminder that workplace authority, employment, and wages are ethical as well as economic issues. Their decision to explore the unionization campaign from the vantage of southern white evangelicals, while perhaps surprising in its exclusion of African American Protestant workers, does yield significant interpretive advantages. The decision helps to focus analysis on key moments in the emergence of a pro-business regional variant of evangelicalism as a southern phenomenon. It provides a way to think about how common evangelical religious cultures...
Other Souls, Other Struggles
JULIE SAVILLE is a member of the History Department at the University of Chicago, where her research and teaching interests have centered on African American popular politics in plantation societies of the United States and the Caribbean. She is the author of The Work of Reconstruction: From Slave to Wage Laborer in South Carolina (1994), several coedited volumes in the series The Papers of Frederick Douglass, and Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation in the United States. She is currently working on a study of the political cultures of abolitionism and the reconstitution of slavery in areas of the eastern Caribbean in the aftermath of the French and Haitian revolutions.
Julie Saville; Other Souls, Other Struggles. Labor 1 March 2017; 14 (1): 75–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-3718446
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