In November 1968 the United Federation of Teachers was in the final stage of the longest and most acrimonious strike in its history, one the leadership saw as a “struggle for survival,” but which a wide variety of commentators, vocal elements in the black and Puerto Rican communities, and even the New York Civil Liberties Union bitterly attacked.
Among the union’s critics were Nat Hentoff who, week after week, denounced the UFT in the Village Voice; Jason Epstein who, in the New York Review of Books, concluded that the “conflicting interests” between parents and teachers were “irreconcilable”; and Dwight McDonald, who regarded the strike as a “racial issue” largely “fabricated” by the UFT.
A majority of the critics interpreted the dispute in terms of racial and parent-teacher conflict. It could hardly be expected, to judge from these reports, that the post-strike atmosphere would be any...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.