>the impact of martial law, termination of Solidarity activities, and
>jailing of leaders after 1981 cannot be ignored
Speaking of which, the New York Times obit for Lane Kirkland (full text at <http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/national/obit-l-kirkland.html>) has this little gem of a passage:
<quote> Kirkland was an ardent anti-Communist who was proud of his organization's efforts to assist the Solidarity movement in bringing democracy to Poland by any means it could. During the 1970's and 80's, he worked tirelessly to help Solidarity topple the Communist government, surreptitiously channeling organization money and fax machines to the movement led by Lech Walesa.
"The success of Solidarity owes a lot to Lane," said Henry A. Kissinger, a close friend of Kirkland. "He supported it with funds and organizers, and he had a big effect on American policy makers."
But leaders of several big unions forced him from office, saying that he lacked the same intense interest when it came to energizing American workers and winning them over to trade unionism. </quote>
A few years ago, Washinton Monthly editor Charlie Peters overheard a conversation in a DC restaurant in which Kirkland's wine cellar was described as the best in town. Not that I'm an oenophobe - far from it - but it's an odd disctinction for the leader of the organized working class.