The United States and the European Trade Union Movement, 1944-1951

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Labor history of the United States

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In this landmark, character-driven history, Greg Behrman tells the story of the Marshall Plan, the unprecedented and audacious policy through which America helped rebuild World War II-ravaged Western Europe. With nuanced, vivid prose, Behrman recreates the story of a unique American enterprise that was at once strategic, altruistic and stunningly effective, and of a time when America stood as a beacon of generosity and moral leadership.

Tens of millions of people had been killed. Ancient cities had been demolished.

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The economic, financial and commercial foundations of Europe were in shambles. Western Europe's Communist parties -- feeding off people's want and despair -- were flourishing as, to the east, Stalin's Soviet Union emerged as the sole superpower on the continent.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) explained

More than an aid program, it sought to modernize Western Europe's economies and launch them on a path to prosperity and integration; to restore Western Europe's faith in democracy and capitalism; to enmesh the region firmly in a Western economic association and eventually a military alliance. It was the linchpin of America's strategy to meet the Soviet threat.

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It helped to trigger the Cold War and, eventually, to win it. Through detailed and exhaustive research, Behrman brings this vital and dramatic epoch to life and animates the personalities that shaped it. Averell Harriman -- who devised and implemented the Plan, as well as some of the century's most important personalities -- Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, Joseph McCarthy -- who are also central players in the drama told here.

More than a humanitarian endeavor, the Marshall Plan was one of the most effective foreign policies in all of American history, in large part because, as Behrman writes, it was born and executed in a time when American "foreign policy was defined by its national interests and the very best of ideals.

Jeffrey W. Take Care of the Living assesses the short- and long-term impact of the war on Confederate veteran families of all classes in Pittsylvania County and Danville, Virginia. Using letters, diaries, church minutes, and military and state records, as well as close analysis of the entire and Pittsylvania County manuscript population census, McClurken explores the consequences of the war for over three thousand Confederate soldiers and their families.

The author reveals an array of strategies employed by those families to come to terms with their postwar reality, including reorganizing and reconstructing the household, turning to local churches for emotional and economic support, pleading with local elites for financial assistance or positions, sending psychologically damaged family members to a state-run asylum, and looking to the state for direct assistance in the form of replacement limbs for amputees, pensions, and even state-supported homes for old soldiers and widows.

Abstract: This book is a fresh and solidly documented study of U. Using Italy as a case study, Federico Romero demonstrates the weaknesses of the American strategy to reshape European societies in the likeness of American social pluralism. The United States sought postwar stability based on free trade, prosperity, and American security. In this scenario, Romero says, unions were to be independent of political parties, interested in wages, hours, and working conditions, and supportive of market capitalism.

Romero exposes the shortcomings of a theory of modernization derived from the New Deal but deployed to support containment of communism.