National Affairs: Comeback?

As many a grime-stained oldtimer in the coal fields will testify, John L. Lewis should not be counted out even when he seems to be draped over the ropes with his eyes glassing over and his legs vibrating like a pair of tired rubber bands. At a moment like that, Big John is often at his wiliest.

His adversaries, the coal operators, decided last week that it was time to say that they were ready to negotiate with John Lewis and his United Mine Workers. At first the offer brought the response the operators seemed to expect—U.M.W. aides assured the press that...

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