Harold Gibbons

St. Louis Teamsters Leader and Warrior Against Jim Crow


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About the Book

Harold Gibbons (1910–1982), leader of St. Louis Teamsters Local 688, fought and defeated Communists and mobsters and was instrumental in ending racial discrimination in the union. His many friends included Frank Sinatra and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. For a few years, he was Jimmy Hoffa’s right-hand man—the two fell out after the Kennedy assassination, which Hoffa celebrated and Gibbons mourned. Exploring his day-to-day work, the author reveals the full story of Gibbons’ secret effort with Kissinger and Hoffa to bring an end to the Vietnam War.

About the Author(s)

Gordon Burnside is a retired newspaper and magazine editor who has written for the New York Times, Commonweal, The Progressive, The Nation and other publications. He lives in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Gordon Burnside
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 297
Bibliographic Info: 4 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7493-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3366-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

A Note on Terminology 1
Introduction: A Word or Two About Gibbons 3
1. Young Gibbons 11
2. St. Louis’ Warehousemen 21
3. Gibbons Gets His Way 28
4. Reds and Trots 37
5. Kavner, Saffo, Race Relations 47
6. Bernice Fisher and “Cab” Calloway 58
7. The Teamsters 69
8. Varieties of Political Experience 77
9. Mobsters Move In 91
10. Gibbons’ Revenge 99
11. Gibbons a Racketeer? 110
12. Hoffa 119
13. Joe Costello and the Wildcat 129
14. “Vertical Improvement” 136
15. Gibbons Goes to Washington 148
16. The Split 163
17. Hoffa Sets a Trap 170
18. Gibbons Relaxes 176
19. Calloway for Congress 191
20. “This Stupid War” 206
21. The Fall 225
22. Out to Grass 239
Chapter Notes 251
Bibliography 277
Index 283