Copyright © 2012 Lisa Harbatkin
Reds At the Blackboard, Clarence Taylor’s clear-eyed, definitive political history of the New York City Teachers Union and its role in the development of social unionism, is now out in paperback from the publisher, Columbia University Press (http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-15268-6/). Amazon also has the paperback, along with a Kindle edition (http://www.amazon.com/Reds-Blackboard-Communism-Rights-Teachers/dp/023115268X). Taylor traces the TU’ s history from its 1916 founding to its disbanding in 1964, covering its ties to the Communist Party, but also, and especially important, its role in fighting for teachers’ rights, children’s rights, and for racial equality and civil rights. The TU championed the teaching of black history and campaigned for helping children living in poverty. Taylor’s study brings the TU, its leaders, and its members back to life as he tells their story.