Letter to the Editors

Against the Current, No. 66, January/February 1997

Martin Glaberman

JANE SLAUGHTER LETS Nelson Lichtenstein get away with fakery in her review (ATC 64, September-October 1996) of his biography of Walter Reuther. The title of his book is The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit, a phrase that Slaughter credits to an auto executive.

That quote is from George Romney, not when he was an auto executive (American Motors) exploiting auto workers, but when he was head of the Automobile Manufacturers Association–when his job was to exploit the public in the propaganda wars against the UAW.

The view of auto executives was more accurately expressed when Reuther died by Chrysler Corp. vice chairman Virgil Boyd: “It’s taken a strong man to keep the situation under control. I hope hat whoever his successor may be can exercise equal internal discipline.”

Boyd’s statement seems to indicate Reuther was as much a danger to the UAW rank and file as he was to the industry executives. The misuse of that quotation is typical of Lichtenstein’s book.

ATC 66, January-February 1997