The Press: Washington Luddites

Huge sheets of paper hung in shreds from the presses, and black printer's ink trickled from torn tubing. Wires had been ripped from control boxes, and vital parts from many of the paper's nine presses had vanished. For the second time in two years, striking pressmen had shut down the Washington Post (circ. 550,000). But seldom in newspaper history had workers visited such Luddite violence on their presses.

The printers' night of rage came hours after their contract expired and talks on a new one were adjourned. Behind the outburst were years of festering antagonism and fear. The paper, faced with shrinking...

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