The Life and Times of Walter Reuther: An Unfinished Liberal Legacy by James Ten Eyck

The Life and Times of Walter Reuther recounts the events and social movements that have shaped modern America and the role Walter Reuther played in many of them. For over thirty years Reuther and his United Automobile Workers Union were in the vanguard of voices advancing economic and social policies that raised the standard of living for many Americans. Reuther serves as a lens through which a period of labor advances, civil rights struggle, and hot and cold war are viewed. The book traces the formative years of the Reuther brothers in Wheeling and follows Walter and Victor Reuther’s European adventure to their ancestral homeland during the rise of Hitler and into the Gorky Autoworks factory in Soviet Russia. The pair returned home to help lead the labor battles in Flint and Dearborn that established a UAW presence in the factories and ultimately brought Walter Reuther to the bargaining table to negotiate historic labor agreements. Reuther’s story includes assassination attempts, confrontations with Senator Goldwater and Nikita Khrushchev, and a presence on the national and world stage for a quarter of a century. The book also discusses attitudes toward immigration and race throughout the twentieth century that echo in our discourse today.

James Ten Eyck received a B.S. ion Mathematics from Lafayette College in 1963. After graduation he worked at IBM, Endicott for five years before leaving to obtain a Ph.D. In Physics. He began an academic career that included adding an M.S. in Computer Science from WPI and retiring after a twenty-five year tenure at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. While at Syracuse he met and married his wife Veronica and welcomed the couple’s only child, David.   

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