Lunch WIth Books To Feature the Life of Labor Leader Walter Reuther

WHEELING — The Ohio County Public Library will host an online Lunch With Books program, featuring the life of Walter Reuther, from noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Remembering Wheeling native and national labor leader Walter Reuther on his birthday (born Sept. 1, 1907, Wheeling, West Virginia; died May 9, 1970, Pellston, Michigan), Nelson Lichtenstein will discuss his book, “Walter Reuther: The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit And The Fate Of American Labor.”

This program will be available to watch live on the Library’s Facebook page, its YouTube channel, and on the OCPL website’s LWB Livestream page.

The program is supported by The Walter and May Reuther Memorial Fund.

Walter Reuther, the most imaginative and powerful trade union leader of the past half-century, confronted the same problems facing millions of working Americans today: how to use the spectacular productivity of our economy to sustain and improve the standard of living and security of ordinary Americans. As Lichtenstein observes, Reuther, the president of the United Automobile Workers from 1946 to 1970, may not have had all the answers, but at least he was asking the right questions.

“The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit” vividly recounts Reuther’s remarkable ascent: his days as a skilled worker at Henry Ford’s great River Rouge complex, his two-year odyssey in the Soviet Union’s infant auto industry in the early 1930s, and his immersion in the violent labor upheavals of the late 1930s that gave rise to the CIO. Under Reuther, the autoworkers’ standard of living doubled.

Lichtenstein is Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at UCSB, where he directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974. Thereafter he worked in publishing in New York and taught at The Catholic University of America and at the University of Virginia before joining the UCSB faculty in 2001.

He is the author or editor of 16 books. He has served on the editorial board of numerous journals and now is a member of the editorial board of the University of Illinois Press series in working-class history.

He is married to Eileen Boris, the Hull Professor of Feminist Studies at UCSB.


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