Making the World Safe for Workers

Making the World Safe for Workers : Labor, the Left, and Wilsonian Internationalism

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In this intellectually ambitious study, Elizabeth McKillen explores the significance of Wilsonian internationalism for workers and the influence of American labor in both shaping and undermining the foreign policies and war mobilization efforts of Woodrow Wilson's administration. McKillen highlights the major fault lines and conflicts that emerged within labor circles as Wilson pursued his agenda in the context of Mexican and European revolutions, World War I, and the Versailles Peace Conference. As McKillen shows, the choice to collaborate with or resist U.S. foreign policy remained an important one for labor throughout the twentieth century. In fact, it continues to resonate today in debates over the global economy, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the impact of U.S. policies on workers at home and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 33.02mm | 635.03g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 13 black and white photographs
  • 0252037871
  • 9780252037870

Review quote

"Elizabeth McKillen tells a big and far-flung story exceptionally well. This book succeeds in showing how U.S. and European trade unions and socialist groups' conflicted efforts to democratize diplomacy changed the larger story of successful American opposition to Wilsonian internationalist goals."--David R. Roediger, coauthor of The Production of Difference: Race and the Management of Labor in U.S. History"Impressively researched, this excellent study makes a major contribution to the history of the U.S. labor movement and to the history of Woodrow Wilson's foreign policy. McKillen's focus on Wilson's approach to labor, World War I, and peacemaking provides a welcome counter to the dominant historiography on Wilson's relations with leftist progressives and socialists."--Ross A. Kennedy, author of The Will to Believe: Woodrow Wilson, World War I, and America's Strategy for Peace and Security "On the whole, McKillen's Making the World Safe for Workers makes a major contribution in our understanding of domestic opposition to and support for World War 1 and Wilsonian diplomacy."--Canadian Journal of History "McKillen is an enthusiastic advocate of transnational history, and this book advances her cause. It is richly documented and keenly analytic. Space forbids a full discussion of many of the issues she raises. Everyone interested in transnational labor history should read it." --Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era "A masterpiece of historical scholarship that blends finely grained institutional analysis of the labor movement, a bottom-up account of foreign policy, and a fascinating story of policy making. Highly recommended."--Choice "McKillen shows the strength of the antiwar impulses within American labor. An important breakthrough."--The Journal of American History "A well-written narrative that draws on diverse schools of scholarship, including labour, gender, Black, borderland, immigration, and international relations. Making the World Safe for Workers is an enlightening study of an undeservedly forgotten chapter in modern history."--Labour/Le Travail "In fact, this work presents an insightful case study of a conflict that continues to divide the workers' movement: what should the relationship of labor be with U.S. foreign policy?"--Labor Studies Journalshow more

About Elizabeth McKillen

Elizabeth McKillen is a professor of history at the University of Maine and the author of Chicago Labor and the Quest for a Democratic Diplomacy: more

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