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Author Sabin, Arthur J., 1930-

Title Red scare in court : New York versus the International Workers Order / Arthur J. Sabin ; foreword by Howard Fast.

Imprint Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe Special Collections Rosen  346.086 Sa13r 1993    ---  Lib Use Only
Description xviii, 369 pages ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Foreword / Howard Fast -- I. Cold War -- Red Scare in Perspective -- II. The First Twenty Years -- III. The Place and the Players -- IV. The Formal Hearing -- V. Into Foley Square -- VI. Trial Strategy and the Paid Informer -- VII. Ex-Communist, Ex-IWO Vice-President -- VIII. The State's Case Continues -- IX. The Role of the Press; The State Continues Its Case -- X. Two Anti-Communist Stars -- XI. The Defense Begins -- Haley as Architect -- XII. A Movie, A Founder, and an Administrator -- XIII. An Artist and a Black Activist -- XIV. With the End in Sight -- XV. Judge Greenberg Decides -- XVI. On Appeal -- XVII. To the Supreme Court and Beyond -- XVIII. Retrospectives.
Summary "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"--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 Americans 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 that 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.
Subject New York (State). Insurance Department -- Trials, litigation, etc.
International Workers Order -- Trials, litigation, etc.
Insurance law -- New York (State)
Fraternal insurance -- New York (State)
Liquidation -- New York (State)
Communist trials -- New York (State)
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1953.
International Workers Order. (OCoLC)fst00541522
New York (State). Insurance Department. (OCoLC)fst01837737
Communist trials. (OCoLC)fst00870610
Fraternal insurance. (OCoLC)fst01716295
Insurance law. (OCoLC)fst00974761
Liquidation. (OCoLC)fst00999671
Politics and government (OCoLC)fst01919741
New York (State) (OCoLC)fst01210280
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
Chronological Term 1945-1953
Genre/Form Trials, litigation, etc. (OCoLC)fst01423712
ISBN 0812231899 (acid-free paper)
9780812231892 (acid-free paper)

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