The Master of Seventh Avenue is the definitive biography of David Dubinsky (1892—1982), one of the most controversial and influential labor leaders in 20th-century America. A “character” in the truest sense of the word, Dubinsky was both revered and reviled, but never dull, conformist, or bound by convention. A Jewish labor radical, Dubinsky fled czarist Poland in 1910 and began his career as a garment worker and union agitator in New York City. He quickly rose through the ranks of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’Union (ILGWU) and became its president in 1932. Dubinsky led the ILGWU for thirty-four years, where he championed “social unionism,” which offered workers benefits ranging from health care to housing. Moving beyond the realm of the ILGWU, Dubinsky also played a leading role in the American Federation of Labor (AFL), particularly during World War II. A staunch anti-communist, Dubinsky worked tirelessly to rid the American labor movement of communists and fellow-travelers.
Robert D. Parmet also chronicles Dubinsky’s influential role in local, national, and international politics. An extraordinary personality whose life and times present a fascinating lens into the American labor movement, Dubinsky leaps off the pages of this meticulously researched and vividly detailed biography.