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«In the Interest of Democracy»

The Rise and Fall of the Early Cold War Alliance Between the American Federation of Labor and the Central Intelligence Agency

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Quenby Hughes

Until recently, there has been little concrete evidence linking the American Federation of Labor (AFL) to the U.S. government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In this book, based upon recently opened archival collections, the author investigates this controversial and complicated early Cold War relationship. Contrary to arguments that the AFL’s international activities were entirely controlled by the U.S. government to the detriment of the independent international labor movement, or that the AFL acted on its own without government involvement to foster legitimate anti-communist trade unions, the author’s examination of the archival sources reveals that the AFL and the CIA made an alliance of convenience based upon common goals and ideologies, which dissolved when the balance of power shifted away from the AFL and into the hands of the CIA.
In addition to tracing the complicated historical threads which resulted in an apparently unlikely relationship, three specific examples of how the AFL worked with the CIA are investigated in this book: the development of the anti-communist trade union federation Force Ouvrière in France; the AFL campaign against the Soviet Union’s use of «slave labor» at the UN; and labor’s role in the activities of the National Committee for a Free Europe, including Radio Free Europe and the Free Trade Union Center in Exile.

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Selected Bibliography -191

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Selected Bibliography Union Publications American Federation of Labor European Bureau Newsletter. American Federationist. Brown, Irving. Les Syndicats Europeens et Americains Unis Pour le Plan Marshall. Bruxelles: Service d’Etudes et d’Information de la Federation Americaine du Travail, 1948 (?). ——. Les Syndicats Americains et les Problemes Internationaux. Bruxelles: Service d’Etudes et d’Information de la Federation Americaine du Travail, 1947 (?). Histoire d’un Conducteur de Camion Americain Arrive a une Situation Enviable Grace a Son Syndicat. Washington DC: Service d’Etudes et d’Information de la Federation Americaine du Travail, 1947 (?). Histoire d’un Metallurgiste Americain. Bruxelles: Service d’Etudes et d’Information de la Federation Americaine du Travail, 1948 (?). The Rights of Labor: Democracy Vs. Totalitarianism. New York: American Federation of Labor International Labor Relations Department, 1947. Slave Labor in the Soviet World. New York: Free Trade Union Committee, [1951?]. Archival Sources Confidential United States State Department Central Files. France: Internal Af fairs, 1945–1949 (microfilm, Harvard University). Congress of Industrial Organizations – Washington Of fice. Wayne State University Archives of Labor and Urban Af fairs and University Archives, Detroit, MI. Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Of fice Files, 1945–1953 (microfilm, Harvard University). 192 Selected Bibliography International Af fairs Department: Country Files, 1945–1971. George Meany Memorial Archives, Silver Spring, MD. International Af fairs Department: George Meany Files. George Meany Memorial Archives, Silver Spring, MD. International Af fairs Department: Jay Lovestone Files, 1939–1974. George Meany Memorial Archives, Silver Spring, MD. International Af fairs Department (CIO): Director’s File (Mike Ross), 1945–1955. George Meany Memorial Archives, Silver Spring, MD. Irving...

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