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Waterfront Revolts

New York and London Dockworkers, 1946-61

Comparative examination of NYC and Londonís dockworkers rank-and-file union members movements that successfully challenged union hierarchy and nation-states.

During the decade that followed the end of World War II, American and English dockworkers undertook a series of militant revolts against their employers, their governments, and even their union leaderships. In this in-depth comparative study, Colin Davis draws on a wide range of sources to explore the upheavals on both sides of the Atlantic.

Davis examines the dynamics of work and work stoppage along the two pivotal waterfronts, showing how issues of race, organized crime, union affiliation, working conditions, and Cold War politics shaped waterfront uprisings and the state's response to them. He explores other key differences between American and British labor, such as the cultural forces that led to the emergence of rank-and-file dockworkers' movements, degree of governmental oversight, methods of obtaining work, and specifics of ethnic and racial identification.

Addressing questions of why dockworkers were such influential forces in the postwar industrial arena, Waterfront Revolts reveals how workers and trade unions directly influenced cold war politics, the economy, and culture--even across national borders.

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