Dubious Alliance: The Making of Minnesota’s DFL Party
by John Earl Haynes
University of Minnesota Press, 1984
Paper: 978-0-8166-1324-3


Dubious Alliance was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The formation of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party of Minnesota took place in a context of intense factional struggle that lasted from the death of Governor Floyd B. Olson in 1936 to the election of Hubert Humphrey to the U.S. Senate in 1948. Dubious Alliance, the first full account of this critical chapter in the state's political history, has wider significance not only because many of the leading figures in the story have played a role in national politics, but also because it deals with issues—chief among them, the origins of Cold War liberalism— that matter far beyond the boundaries of a single state.

John Haynes follows the struggle from its inception to the postwar battle within the new DFL between Popular Front adherents and anti-Communist liberals led by Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey. He makes clear that the struggle with the Popular Front was the formative political experience of Humphrey's generation; those who fought with him, and who became active in national politics—Orville Freeman, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Donald Fraser—did not seriously question Cold War foreign policy till well into the Vietnam era.

Thorough and dispassionate, this book will help today's readers better understand the DFL's birth and the struggle that surrounded it—complex events long obscured by Cold War fears and political myth-making.

John Earl Haynes is a historian by training—he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota—and also a specialist in tax policy. He was an adviser to Governor Wendell Anderson and later served as a congressional aide to Anderson and to Representative Martin Sabo. Haynes is now Director of Tax and Credit Analysis for the state of Minnesota.

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