Prologue: "all sinners belong in the church" -- Southern roots -- Education of a trade unionist -- Expanding horizons -- Captain of the ship -- Labor versus Reagan -- All out for Fritz -- Solidarity forever -- Central America: fighting the good fight at home and abroad -- Mr. Democracy -- Labor unity; labor pains -- Civil rights: keeping the faith -- Two cheers for Clinton -- The coup -- Freedom's five star general
"In Lane Kirkland, political writer Arch Puddington traces one man's steady rise to the most powerful position in organized labor, a position many claimed, with only slight exaggeration, was more important than the presidency of the United States."
"Based on primary sources - including Kirkland's own unfinished history of the labor movement - this biography is the first work to track the lifelong journey of this champion for the American worker and crusader for workers worldwide. Puddington creates a vivid portrait of Kirkland's unusual life story, from the small, impoverished mill town of his boyhood, to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., to a trade union congress in Gdansk, Poland
He recounts Kirkland's role in some of the thorniest issues faced by American labor and how, with tenacious leadership, he forged the disparate and often feuding unions of American labor - the Teamsters, the United Auto Workers, the United Mine Workers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union - into a unified and powerful political force. This biography also reveals how the positive transforming events of the New Deal in the South and Kirkland's enlistment in World War II shaped his lifelong political convictions that the United States possessed the strength and the wealth to expand freedom throughout the world and promote the welfare of its own people."
"From the Old South to the New Deal, from Washington, D.C., to Poland, from World War II to Vietnam, Lane Kirkland provides a look into the events that shaped an unassuming young boy into the most eloquent and effective spokesman for workers worldwide."--Jacket