OVERRIDE

The Battle for Wisconsin

Scott Walker and the Attack on the Progressive Tradition

Andrew E. Kersten

Hill and Wang

This past January, the newly elected governor Scott Walker declared war on Wisconsin’s progressive roots. Under the guise of budget repair, he and his Republican colleagues in the state legislature introduced a whole host of initiatives meant to roll back hard-won gains for workers and recast the role of government in the state to fit his own conservative ideology.
 
In The Battle for Wisconsin, the labor historian Andrew E. Kersten shows just how far-reaching these “reforms” really are—and why they fly in the face of the state’s long progressive tradition. Kersten is a Wisconsin native, a product of the state’s renowned public education system that is now under attack. In this eye-opening new book, he takes us back to the days of the robber barons, explaining why our forefathers fought so hard for real reform in the Progressive Era and why those principles are worth protecting today.

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Praise for The Battle for Wisconsin

Praise for Andrew E. Kersten's Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast:
 
“Kersten reveals a man whose life took nearly every possible turn: a corporate attorney who became labor's leading lawyer; an ambitious politico who came to detest political parties; a devout pacifist who drummed up support for war. Kersten, who has written two books on labor history, focuses much of American Iconoclast on Darrow's role in the big labor trials of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The book is at its best in this section, with vivid portraits of the front line in what was seen at the time as a great war between capital and labor.” —Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
 
“Forty years ago, Clarence Darrow’s life story inspired me to sell my successful publishing company and found a civil rights law firm. Readers of Andrew E. Kersten’s riveting new account of this great infectious trial lawyer will no doubt consider leaving life as usual and joining Darrow’s quest for justice. Kersten’s well-written book reveals Darrow as an early crusader against corporate abuse of human rights in the mold of Upton Sinclair, Ralph Nader, and Michael Moore.” —Morris Dees, founder and chief trial counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center
 
“Andrew E. Kersten’s Clarence Darrow is a superb biography, at once highly readable and historically astute. It is full of personality and politics, a compelling narrative that illuminates how Darrow’s complex and contradictory legal career helped define and animate twentieth-century American liberalism.” —Nelson Lichtenstein, MacArthur Foundation Chair in History, UC Santa Barbara, and author of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business
 
“Kersten explodes Darrow’s messy, complicated life . . . This is no hagiography, but rather a portrait of a truly human character trying to effect change while battling private demons.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“The brilliance and daring of Darrow's legal strategies make this skillful, absorbing biography most riveting, especially with his masterful handling of the controversial Leopold-Loeb case, the unpopular Scopes ‘monkey trial,’ and the Sweet case, where a black family defended their home from attacks by their white neighbors.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“A richly detailed but accessible account of Clarence Darrow’s complicated life . . . Unlike many Darrow biographies, this one shows how much more there was to the man than law and politics. Highly recommended for all interested readers and all libraries.” —Stephen L. Hupp, Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Andrew E. Kersten

  • Andrew E. Kersten is the Frankenthal Professor of History in the Department of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. His most recent book, Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast, now available in hardcover and eBook from Hill and Wang.
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    The Battle for Wisconsin

    Scott Walker and the Attack on the Progressive Tradition

    Andrew E. Kersten

    • e-Book

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Hill and Wang

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