Archie Green: The Making of a Working-Class Hero celebrates one of the most revered folklorists and labor historians of the twentieth century. Devoted to understanding the diverse cultural customs of working people, Archie Green (1917-2009) tirelessly documented these traditions and educated the public about the place of workers' culture and music in American life. Doggedly lobbying Congress for support of the American Folklife Preservation Act of 1976, Green helped establish the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, a significant collection of images, recordings, and written accounts that preserve the myriad cultural productions of Americans.
Capturing the many dimensions of Green's remarkably influential life and work, Sean Burns draws on extensive interviews with Green and his many collaborators to examine the intersections of radicalism, folklore, labor history, and worker culture with Green's work. Burns closely analyzes Green's political genealogy and activist trajectory while illustrating how he worked to open up an independent political space on the American Left that was defined by an unwavering commitment to cultural pluralism.
Sean Burns is a teacher, musician, and gardener. His research and teaching interests center on the history, culture, and politics of progressive social movements. His band, Professor Burns and the Lilac Field, is rooted in Berkeley, California.
Abbreviations Foreword - David Roediger Introduction: Worker, Scholar, Organizer Part I: Of Shreds and Patches - The Early Political Formation of Archie Green 1. Living Questions: Family, Revolution, and Emigration; 2. Red, Not-So-White, and Blue: Culture, Identity, and Power in 1920s Boyle Heights; 3. Strikes and Stones: Student Politics and Labor in the 1930s Part II: Triangle of Commitments - How 1930s San Francisco Maritime Politics Impacted Green 4. From Berkeley Stacks to Stake-side Trucks; 5. "Brothers Slugging Brothers"; 6. Green's Left Anti-Communist Critiques of Harry Bridges and Reconsiderations of Communist Party History; 7. Green's Pragmatic Path: Union Service and World War II Veterans Organizing Part III: 'A Decent Philosophy' - Green and the Culture and Politics of American Folk Revival 8. Folk Music and the American Communist Party of the 1930s and 1940s; 9. Green's Cultural Turn: Moments in the Making of a Laborlorist; 10. Vernacular Music: Green's Aesthetic Ideology as Cultural Pluralism Part IV: 'Always on Stolen Time' - Green's Influence on Folklore, Labor History, and Cultural Studies 11. Laborlore: Alternative Popular Front Imaginary; 12. Green's Place in New Labor History and American Cultural Studies; 13. Laborlore: Pedagogy of the Working Class Epilogue - Nick Spitzer's Last Interview with Archie Green Acknowledgments; Bibliography; Endnotes; Index; About the Author