The Birth of ICSOM: A Labor Revolution

Editor's Abstract

As the controversy rages in the US regarding the Patriot Act and the extent to which the government can intervene in ordinary citizen’s lives in the name of “homeland security,” it is interesting to look back at the role symphony musicians played in safeguarding (or not) civil liberties in the midst of the McCarthy era HUAC (House UnAmerican Activities Committee)hearings.
Julie Ayer, violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra, has excerpted another chapter from her book, More Than Meets the Ear: How Symphony Musicians Made Labor History that details the birth of ICSOM and the role that symphony musicians, ICSOM and the AFM played during the Communist witchhunt of the 1950s.
Once again, I highly recommend Julie’s book in its entirety. Reading it will make you proud of the impact musicians have had on the labor movement and in improving conditions in their own working lives.

Ann Drinan

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