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Red Scare in Court 9780812231892

Red Scare in Court

New York versus the International Workers Order

ISBN-10: 0812231899
ISBN-13: 9780812231892
PUBLISHER: University of Pennsylvania Press
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: ""Arthur J. Sabin tells the heartbreaking story of how the IWO, and with it the hopes and dreams of thousands of American working people, was destroyed. It is a very important story, a grim and awful story. It must be read and understood, so that nothing like it will ever happen again" - from the Foreword by Howard Fast." "For the first and only time in American history, a highly successful, financially stable insurance company was attacked in court because of a singular distinction: its affiliation with the American Communist Party. The year was 1951: the Cold War divided the world, the "hot" war in Korea raged, and Senator Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover led the U.S. descent into demonology as the domestic battle - the Red Scare - against communists and "subversives" became the national passion." "Although radical politics and insurance companies are usually worlds apart, they came together in the form of the International Workers Order, which was organized in 1930 and experienced a meteoric rise in membership until the Red Scare era of the 1950s. Offering its insurance programs through its several nationality groups in 18 states and the District of Columbia, the IWO was the first insurance company to charge blacks the same premiums as whites to insure any working person, regardless of occupation, at equal rates. Over one million American moved through membership in the IWO over these years and they were subjected to a program of political, economic, and social indoctrination." "In a case involving exciting issues and colorful personalities, the State of New York sought to liquidate the IWO on novel grounds: that the majority of its leaders were Communists, therefore constituting a "political hazard" to its members and the public. Until this case, no insurance company had ever been brought into court except for financial "hazard" reasons. Using the testimony of paid political informers, the State of New York depended on the presence of the Red Scare in court to convince judges that this "Frankenstein monster" must be liquidated. The IWO argued they its capitalistic success, not its Communist ties, be the proper legal focus." "Red Scare in Court is a meticulously detailed historical account of one of the casualties of the Cold War politics of the 1950s. Arthur J. Sabin has had unprecedented access to the files of both sides, thus providing a rare "behind the scenes" portrait of the case."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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