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Christopher Gerteis

Abstract

During the 1950s, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) led a global covert attempt to suppress left-led labor movements in Western Europe, the Mediterranean, West Africa, Central and South America, and East Asia. American union leaders argued that to survive the Cold War, they had to demonstrate to the United States government that organized labor was not part-and-parcel with Soviet communism. The AFL’s global mission was placed in care of Jay Lovestone, a founding member of the American Communist Party in 1921 and survivor of decades of splits and internecine battles over allegiance to one faction or another in Soviet politics before turning anti-Communist and developing a secret relation with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after World War II. Lovestone’s idea was that the AFL could prove its loyalty by helping to root out Communists from what he perceived to be a global labor movement dominated by the Soviet Union. He was the CIA’s favorite Communist turned anti-Communist.

Series:

Edited by Christopher Gerteis

The three volumes of this collection ( Tokugawa Economy and Society, Meiji Industrialization, and Twentieth Century Japan) feature essays examining the economic and social transformations that redefined Japan from the proto-industrial economy of the early moder era to Japan’s twentieth-century emergence as one of the world’s great industrialized nations.

The first volume, Tokugawa Economy and Society, examines how the political economy of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, despite political constraints designed specifically to hinder social and economic change, established the proto-industrial roots for Japan’s rapid industrialization during the Meiji Era.

The second volume, Meiji Industrialization, explores how the men who established the modern government of the Meiji Era (1868-1912) found fertile ground for the rapid industrialization they envisioned necessary for the defense of the nation. Their successes, and failures, laid the groundwork for a modern empire.

The final volume, Twentieth Century Japan, examines the century of industrialization that underpinned the rise of Imperial Japan, its disastrous invasion of Pacific Asia, and its unexpected emergence from the ashes of World War II to become one of the world’s great industrialized powers, a feat which has since fascinated politicians and industrialists across the developing and developed world.