#LaborTalks: Labor, Neoliberalism, and the 1970s – a Conversation with Lane Windham

The Workmen’s Circle
247 West 37th St, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Nearly four decades later, we’ve begun to see the 1970s as truly pivotal in the course of modern American and global history. In the wake of civil rights and the anti-war movements, great portions of the population organized and agitated for equal rights, increased representation, and a more just distribution of the national wealth. Meanwhile, disquieted by popular upheaval, and spurred by persistent inflation, the federal government (across successive administrations) enacted a series of reforms that spelled the end of Keynesianism and the introduction of what we now call neoliberalism. From the resulting struggle—between movements for political and economic democratization on the one hand, and the top-down imposition of market forces on the other—emerged the world in which we live today.

In #LaborTalks: Labor, Neoliberalism, and the 1970s – a Conversation with Lane Windham, historian Lane Windham, author of the award-winning Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide will join BISR Research Associate Jeffrey Escoffier for a wide-ranging discussion of neoliberalism’s rise in the 1970s, the challenge to labor, and the state of the movement for popular political and economic power. What was neoliberalization? Is neoliberalism entirely an economic phenomenon, or was it formulated to some degree in reaction to popular movements for democratization? How did unions and unionizing change in the 1970s? What can the vitalized, “intersectional” labor movements of the 1970s teach us about class, race, gender, and contemporary struggles for political and economic justice?

The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP below. #LaborTalks is co-presented by The Workmen’s CircleThe Sidney Hillman Foundation, Union Communication ServicesDissent Magazine, the Jewish Labor Committee, the DSA Jewish Solidarity Caucus, and The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. A reception will follow the talk.

Throughout the week, our partner Union Communication Services is offering a 15% discount on Lane Windham’s book Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of the New Economic Divide. Discounted copies will also be available for purchase at Workmen’s Circle before and after the talk.


  • Lane Windham

    Lane Windham is Associate Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor and co-director of WILL Empower (Women Innovating Labor Leadership).

  • Jeffrey Escoffier

    Jeffrey Escoffier writes on the history of sexuality, LGBT history and public health. He is also the author a short biography of John Maynard Keynes and editor of a book on the work of choreographer Mark Morris.

Event Schedule

Thursday, 6:30-9:00pm
July 19, 2018


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