Tough Liberal

It’s a shame they don’t make liberals anymore like the late Al Shanker.

Actually, they do, but nowadays they’re called neocons.

From a review in the Wall Street Journal of a new biography:

It is odd and perhaps unfortunate that Albert Shanker (1928-97) may be remembered principally as the man who in 1968, as head of the New York City teachers union, shut down the city’s schools with a series of strikes. It was all in a good cause, to be sure, but the controversy of that episode, over the years, has stolen drama from much else of note in Shanker’s long and admirable life.

As Richard Kahlenberg reminds us in “Tough Liberal,” a thoroughly researched and engaging biography, Shanker was a charismatic labor leader at a time of union decline, a powerful voice for educational reform at a time of bureaucratic complacency, and–not least–an eloquent advocate of an aggressive, pro-democratic American foreign policy at a time of defeatism and retreat.

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