Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 592

never seen an idea come out of that place.” That began a very close relationship with Ed Garvey.

Q:

He was a good guy.

Foner:

I met with him every time he'd come to New York. I had planned--I never brought it off, but he was going to help me on it -- he said, “We've got to work on something together.”

I said, “Look, I have an idea. Do you do have any players who are artists?”

He said, “Yes, I have a number of players who are artists.” I remember there was a tight end who at that time was playing for Boston, then he was traded to a championship team, who has shows. There was this fullback on the Jets who was an artist.

“Why don't we do a show? We do a show of football players sponsored by a union.”

He said, “Terrific. Great.”

Q:

This is all a long digression on the obstacles to using culture in the rest of the labor movement.

Foner:

Yes.

Q:

I have one last question on this general area for now. I guess we'll talk more about it later. I guess it's something I've asked you before. I keep trying to get a--

Foner:

A straight answer.

Q:

A clear answer. Maybe there isn't a simple, clear answer. I keep wondering, did you have what I can only call a theory of labor and culture? Did you have a worked-out idea of why it was so important and what it would accomplish in the union?

Foner:

I didn't have a worked-out theory; I had a feel of why it was valuable and I could see how it worked. Later in Bread and Roses, I tried to develop a theory around it to a degree -- not a theory, but it was even more developed.

My theory was that it wasn't an accident that a good union doesn't have to be dull, that it was important that a union had to be a living thing. I had seen that happen in 65. In the old days when they did the “Wholesale Mikado,” and they had dramatic groups, it was an alive kind of thing, vibrant kind of thing. It was jumping in every direction.



© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help