No doubt in part reflecting their own mood, present-day labor scholars seem to share a darkening assessment of the political outcomes of the 1960s. At least such is the impression spawned by two significant segments of our current volume: first, a reconsideration from a half-century’s distance of the impact of the urban upheavals in America’s big northern cities, 1964–67; second, a roundtable review of an influential new book that locates today’s crisis of mass incarceration of America’s black and brown poor at the very moment of liberal policy prescriptions, the putative “war on poverty,” aimed at treating the sources of poverty as well as crime.

Befitting Eric Arnesen’s call to address the impact (and analysis) of urban unrest on the political right, left, and center, our Up for Debate panelists divide their attentions accordingly. Michael W. Flamm emphasizes that the law-and-...

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