The history of Communists and American labor raises three questions. Were the Communists legitimate (or good) trade unionists? Were they an important influence in the labor movement? Were they good Communists? These questions involve matters that go beyond the history of Communists in the auto industry. Consequently, this work does not provide the last word on them. Yet, raising these questions has a point. It enables the expression of views on these questions that differ from others that have been written about Communists and labor and what assumptions lie behind this work. Finally, this book refutes some commonly held ideas about Communists and labor. The Introduction also discusses several problems of method: the identification of Communists and the reliability of Communist sources and oral history.
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