John L. Lewis,by Alton S. Tobey
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Oil on canvas of John L. Lewis.

Credit: Courtesy of The Alton Tobey Collection,

John L. Lewis said, "I have pleaded (labor's) case, not in the quavering tones of a feeble mendicant asking alms, but in the thundering voice of the captain of a mighty host, demanding the rights to which free men are entitled." – poet Carl Sandburg to Saul Alinsky, August, 1940. "John L. Lewis is, and always has been, a reptillian, treasonous son of a bitch." – Saul Alinsky to Carl Sandburg "John L. Lewis may be a devil to the poets, but he is an angel to the workers and possibly, Mr. Sandburg, their avenging angel. You say John L. Lewis is ruthless, but he has fought all of his life against the most ruthless and destructive forces known to our alleged civilization."

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