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Other titles in the Goldstein-Goren Series in American Jewish History series:
All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism (Goldstein-Goren Series in American Jewish History)
Synopses & Reviews
In the early 1930s, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) organized large numbers of Black and Hispanic workers through a broadly conceived program of education, culture, and community involvement. The ILGWU admitted these new members, the overwhelming majority of whom were women, into racially integrated local unions and created structures to celebrate ethnic differences. All Together Different revolves around this phenomenon of interracial union building and worker education during the Great Depression.
Investigating why immigrant Jewish unionists in the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) appealed to an international force of coworkers, Katz traces their ideology of a working-class based cultural pluralism, which Daniel Katz newly terms “mutual culturalism,” back to the revolutionary experiences of Russian Jewish women. These militant women and their male allies constructed an ethnic identity derived from Yiddish socialist tenets based on the principle of autonomous national cultures in the late nineteenth century Russian Empire. Built on original scholarship and bolstered by exhaustive research, All Together Different offers a fresh perspective on the nature of ethnic identity and working-class consciousness and contributes to current debates about the origins of multiculturalism.
Book News Annotation:
Examining the activities of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) in the first half of the 20th century, Katz (history, State U. of New York Empire State College) finds a legacy of radical Yiddish socialism to have permeated the ILGWU's early approach to organizing, which was characterized by the vision of class-based revolution rooted in multicultural ethnic identities. He explores the impact this vision of "mutual culturalism" had on the ILGWU's organizing, arguing that the revolutionary ideology of Yiddish socialism, involving a class-based ethnic pride, played a key role in allowing the ILGWU to recruit and retain other marginalized workers in the Lower East Side needle trades, an observation that undermines the prevalent assumption that ethnic affiliations are incompatible with militant class consciousness. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Rape law reform has been a stunning failure. Defense lawyers persist in emphasizing victims' characters over defendants' behavior. Reform's goals of increasing rape report and conviction rates have generally not been achieved. In Rape and the Culture of the Courtroom, Andrew Taslitz locates the cause of rape reform failure in the language lawyers use, and the cultural stories upon which they draw to dominate rape victims in the courtroom.
Cultural stories about rape, Taslitz argues, such as the provocatively dressed woman "asking for it," are at the root of many unconscious prejudices that determine jury views. He connects these stories with real-life examples, such as the Mike Tyson and Glen Ridge rape trials, to show how rape stereotypes are used by defense lawyers to gain acquittals for their clients.
Building on Deborah Tannen's pathbreaking research on the differences between male and female speech, Taslitz also demonstrates how word choice, tone, and other lawyers' linguistic tactics work to undermine the confidence and the credibility of the victim, weakening her voice during the trial. Taslitz provides politically realistic reform proposals, consistent with feminist theories of justice, which promise to improve both the adversary system in general and the way that the system handles rape cases.
About the Author
Daniel Katz is Professor of History and Dean of Labor Studies at the National Labor College. A former union organizer, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City.
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