“The riveting portrait of an important unionist placed between the liberatory impulses of Pan Africanism and the imperial schemes of labor’s Cold War chiefs, Maida Springer will be must reading for labor historians and aficionados of overseas intelligence operations.”—Paul Buhle, Brown University, and co-editor, Encyclopedia of the American Left
“Maida Springer is an incredibly rich book, very impressive in its wide range of knowledge. A public rather than private biography, it charts the trajectory of an unusual black woman and the tensions she felt from being black and being an American trade unionist during the Cold War. Her story deserves telling for what it reveals about the roles of women and people of African descent in the trade unions as well as the AFL-CIO’s policy in Africa and the activities of African Americans in Africa. Richards has produced a superb exploration of the relationship between anti-Communisim and anti-colonialism.”—Eileen Boris, University of Virginia
Richard’s fascinating book chronicles Maida Springer’s contributions to African workers’ empowerment and the International Ladies Garmet workers Union.
This volume significantly advances ongoing efforts to excavate the history of African Americans’ contributions to the labor movement both in the US and internationally, and ameliorates the limited attention devoted to gender issues. —Choice
“ The book is fascinating reading. The detailed accounts of Springer’s interactions with U.S. and African leaders provide essential information for understanding U.S.-African international relations. Every scholar of U.S.-African relations, labor’s Cold War, African American labor, and women’s history will appreciate Richards’s research.”—Journal of American History
“ . . . a sensitive and compassionate portrayal of the life of Maida Springer . . . Richards has done a great service to historians . . . a fascinating treatment of an important champion of African freedom and justice that will help to change scholars’ understanding of the intersections of African-American, labor, international, and gender histories.” —American Historical Review
“Richards has done a compelling job here of showing how important Springer was, and of exploring the ways in which Spring navigated the upper worlds of the AFL and ALF-CIO as an African American woman.”—Dana Frank, Labor History