It is a powerful story: the relationship between the 1960s New Left and organized labor was summed up by hardhats confronting students and others over US involvement in Vietnam. But the real story goes beyond the "Love It or Leave It" signs and melees involving blue-collar types attacking protesters.
Peter B. Levy challenges these images by exploring the complex relationship between the two groups. Early in the 1960s, the New Left and labor had cooperated to fight for civil rights and anti-poverty programs. But diverging opinions on the Vietnam War created a schism that divided these one-time allies. Levy shows how the war, combined with the emergence of the black power movement and the blossoming of the counterculture, drove a permanent wedge between the two sides and produced the polarization that remains to this day.