The Unions and the Democrats: An Enduring Alliance (Paperback)
  • The Unions and the Democrats: An Enduring Alliance (Paperback)

The Unions and the Democrats: An Enduring Alliance (Paperback)

Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 09/05/2001
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Although labor unions have faced a decline in membership in recent decades, they have not necessarily lost their political clout. The Unions and the Democrats illuminates the inner dynamics of labor's relationship to the American political system over the past generation. It examines organized labor from the Johnson administration through the first half of the Clinton administration, showing that labor's alliance with the Democratic Party has endured despite changes in the economy and the revival of conservatism.

Drawing on extensive interviews with union leaders and lobbyists, Taylor E. Dark provides a historical perspective often lacking in studies of union political involvement. He compares the relationship of presidents Johnson, Carter, and Clinton with labor and analyzes cases of union involvement in legislative lobbying, executive decision-making, and both congressional and presidential elections.

The book explores such topics as the effects of political reform on union power, the development of union legislative goals, and the impact of unions on economic policymaking, and also evaluates the controversy over union campaign spending in the 1996 elections. It demonstrates that labor's evolving alliance with the Democrats continues to shape America.

For Taylor Dark's update on unions and democrats, please visit his website at

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801487330
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 14 mm
Edition: Updated Edition


"A valuably argumentative and well-written analysis."

-- Stephen Amberg * American Political Science Review *

"It is a wonderful book, not the least because it traverses ground that has so rarely been covered.... Dark's book is not merely descriptive. His analytical framework draws on the exchange metaphor, in which the leadership structure of organized labor and of the political system at large are the central independent variables.... The Unions and the Democrats is a superb rendering of a very difficult subject, of interest to those who study American labor, Congress, the presidency, and recent American history. It should spur renewed study of a long-neglected subject."

-- John C. Gerring, Boston University * Political Science Quarterly *

"The Unions and the Democrats is one of the best books on both subjects in recent years.... It would be difficult to identify a book that is more informative about the political dynamics of organized labor in the United States."

* Labor Watch *

"This welcome book provides a much needed update on the national political influence of organized labor. In a fair and balanced assessment, Dark demonstrates labor's continuing influence, even in the face of a general labor decline."

* Choice *

"The book's strengths are numerous. First, it tells a fascinating story. Second, its theoretical grip is forceful. Third, it is rich in institutional detail. Fourth, it puts labor's role into the broader electoral/legislative contexts it deserves. Fifth, it is interpretively balance-not polemically annoying. The Unions and the Democrats is must reading."

-- Marick F. Masters * Industrial and Labor Relations Review *


* Booklist *

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