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American Labor and Working Class History at Iowa:
Part I


From Books at Iowa 53 (November 1990)
Copyright: The University of Iowa


On Labor Day, 1989, Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt, professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Iowa, appeared on CBS Television's syndicated program "Nightwatch." The subject was a fit one for a Labor Day interview -- Hunnicutt's widely acclaimed Work Without End: Abandoning Shorter Hours for the Right to Work (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988) -- though the interviewer, Charles Rose, quite arguably was not. Amidst occasional questions and a torrent of comments from Rose that were interruptive and exasperating, Hunnicutt nonetheless managed to patiently explain his book's subject: the rise and post-1930s decline of the movement to reduce the working hours of American workers. And he managed to insert some pungent thoughts on the current status of labor-versus-leisure in the United States.

Some four months later, Hunnicutt again subjected himself to a lengthy and difficult interview. This time the surroundings were more modest-an office on the third floor of The University of Iowa's Main Library. And the subject was different, namely, the remarkable outpouring of scholarly work in American labor and working class history at the University in recent years, and Hunnicutt's place in that body of work. Once again, he was patient and informative. But at the end, one question stumped him. How do you explain it? I asked. How, in a state whose industrial work force has always been comparatively small, do you account for an outpouring of scholarship in a field whose main focus has always been the industrial worker?

Hunnicutt did cite the effects of outstanding library and archival resources in the field, both locally and within oneday's drive of Iowa City -- in Chicago, Madison, Champaign, and Detroit. And he noted that labor history students and scholars had by now come together in sufficient numbers at Iowa to form a kind of critical mass, whereby scholarship in the field is encouraged by their mutual presence. But these factors by themselves are insufficient explanation, he added.

And I can't explain it. I share your opinion, though: there is a lot that's happening. I've come from North Carolina [Hunnicutt earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina in 1975], and there there's virtually nothing, at least when I left, in labor history. And arriving here, I see a lot of people working in this area. [1]

This essay seeks to explain how and why that outpouring occurred and is continuing. In the course of so doing, it will survey the work of labor history researchers at Iowa, not only in recent years but also in earlier decades. (The reader may be surprised to discover, as I was, that Iowa City was also a center of labor history research during the first quarter of the twentieth century.) It will show how the development of research in this field has in some degree hinged upon the research materials available locally, and how the reverse is also true: the materials that have become available locally have been shaped by the research being done. It will survey those resources. And finally, having posed an answer to the basic question, it will seek to elucidate such implications as that answer may suggest -- for researchers in labor history and for the librarians, archivists, and library patrons who assist them.

If we are to understand how American labor and working class history has developed at Iowa-and, for that matter, if we are to understand the need, here and elsewhere, for the somewhat redundant phrase "labor and working class history"-we must first gain a thorough understanding of how scholarship in the field has developed at the national level.

Although labor history has existed as an academic field since before 1900, it was almost entirely ignored by the American historical profession until the late 1950s. Once the province of well-to-do, cultivated amateurs, history by the turn of the century had become a profession dominated by men who imbibed the "scientific" historical methods of the German research seminar. Yet in its subject matter history remained largely genteel. Since the time of Thucydides, history in the Western World had meant "past politics"usually the doings and sayings of great white men. And the men who inhabited early twentieth century university history departments, drawn mostly from elite white Protestant backgrounds themselves, were still mostly unwilling to look beyond the history of statesmen, generals, and diplomats. The so-called Progressive Historians, it is true, were by 1910 espousing a "New History" which would cast a somewhat broader purview, draw upon insights from sociology and the other social sciences then emerging, and present itself as an indispensable aid to the formation of intelligent public policy. Charles Beard, Arthur M. Schlesinger, and some others in the Progressive School would go on to explore the material bases of social conflict in a manner that owed less to Karl Marx than to James Madison. But the influence of the Progressive Historians was slow in spreading and never pervasive in the historical profession. [2]

The door to the field of labor history was left wide open, and a group of scholars associated with what came to be called "institutional economics" walked in to stay for half a century. The institutionalists were rebelling against the orthodoxies of classical economics, whose models of perfectly free competition they saw as explaining very little about large-scale industrialization and serving mainly to rationalize its pernicious effects. Among other things, they contested orthodoxy's insistence that collective action by workers constituted inadmissable interference with the free play of the market. This eventually bound them in practical alliance with the labor movement. They were also seeking alternatives to abstract models as explanations of economic behavior. This eventually bound them to empirical methodologies drawn from other disciplines, including, especially, historical research. Sustained scholarship in labor history, which wedded an object of interest and alliance (labor unions) with a preferred method of investigation (historical research), seemed virtually an inevitable outcome. [3]

The scene of by far the greatest effort was the University of Wisconsin, whose faculty Richard T. Ely had joined after leaving Johns Hopkins in 1892. A distinguished economist, Ely had been fitfully collecting the source materials he knew he needed if he were to accord the labor movement scholarly historical study. Finally realizing that the collecting task was beyond the capacities of a single individual, he managed to secure funds eventually amounting to $30,000, provided mostly by the Carnegie Foundation, for the 1904 establishment of the American Bureau of Industrial Research. Joining him as Bureau director was his former student, John R. Commons. Together they attracted a group of students and scholars whose names would later figure prominently in the "institutional" or "Wisconsin" school of labor history, among them John B. Andrews, Helen Sumner, David Saposs, Philip Taft, and above all Selig Perlman. The Bureau moved into offices in the new building of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, with which it was collaborating under the far-seeing superintendency of Reuben G. Thwaites. And the Bureau set about its business, which it saw as scouring the nation's libraries and union headquarters for important source materials pertaining to the history of the American labor movement, and then copying or collecting as much of that material as it could . [4]

Until it wound down in 1913, the effort was massively productive, both for the Society, which thereby came to hold the first major labor archives in the United States, and for the group of students and scholars, now under Commons' leadership, who used the collection as the basis for their Documentary History of American Industrial Society (11 vols; Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark, 1910-11) and their History of Labour in the United States (4 vols.; New York, Macmillan, 1918, 1935). These encyclopedic volumes, along with Perlman's succinct A Theory of the Labor Movement (New York: Macmillan, 1928), laid the basis for the study of American labor history until the 1960s. [5]

There is no denying the magnitude of the Wisconsin School's accomplishment. Their work, more than any other academics', brought legitimacy to organized labor. They provided key intellectual ammunition in the long struggle for federal and state labor law reform, a struggle which found triumph in the Wagner Act, the Social Security Act, and the Wage and Hour Law of the New Deal era. They erected a skeleton of essential facts and sources. And as vast as their enterprise was, they maintained an overarching theoretical coherence. This was largely the contribution of Perlman, who started with the idea that American workers, left to their own devices, were practical people interested in better wages, hours, and working conditions-not in such radical notions as combining to improve their position as a class. Of paramount interest, then, as the truest vehicle of workers' self-expression, was the "pure and simple" labor union. Accordingly, the Wisconsin School located the history of the American worker in the struggle to organize these unions and bargain collectively with employers. Of interest to it, too, was ameliorative legislation and the emergence of a legal framework that would facilitate union development and collective bargaining. [6]

With hindsight furnished mostly by the scholarship of the 1970s and '80s, we can now see that the Wisconsin School's close tie to organized labor was its weakness as well as its strength-at least insofar as its practice of labor history was concerned. The School's focus on "pure and simple" unions, built mostly by native white craftsmen, disparaged the organizational contributions of immigrants and radicals. Its focus downplayed the actual work performed by workers as well as the cultural and other important aspects of their lives. And it relegated the majority of people who have done most of the hard and/or repetitive labor through American history-that is, unorganized workersto virtual historical insignificance. Further, the School's insistence that American workers, left to themselves, did not and do not behave in class terms was unquestionably based on what now may be seen as a rather narrow band of evidence which came nowhere near reflecting workers' lives in all their sprawling complexity. [7]

But for decades the Wisconsin School's formulations were not subjected to serious challenge. A few intellectuals and scholars of the Old Left, most notably Philip Foner, did insist that American workers' natural proclivity was and is to behave in class terms. They tended, however, to assume the truth of this point of contention rather than argue it coherently in print. And, curiously, they paired themselves with the Wisconsin School in focusing almost exclusively on the development of labor unions (often those unions in which leftists had a history of vying for leadership). University history departments, another source of potential challenge, did move beyond genteel subject matter after World War II. A new generation moved in as the G.I. Bill expanded and democratized higher education, and some of its best scholars went on to study previously ignored groups, such as urban immigrants. (See especially Oscar Handlin's, The Uprooted [Boston: Little Brown, 1951]). But they were very slow in coming 'round to labor history. One suspects that their broad concurrence in "consensus history" -- that is, the idea that the absence of truly deep societal fissures and conflicts has been the dominant theme of American civilization -- played an important role here. In accepting consensus history, they in effect fenced themselves off from serious disagreement with the Wisconsin School. That School, after all, had helped build consensus history by assiduously painting workers as only interested in incremental gains and by painting their conflict with employers as eminently subject to adjustment via collective bargaining. In any event, the postwar generation of academic historians was for years content to leave labor history in the seemingly capable hands of the institutionalist heirs of the Ely-Commons-Perlman group. History graduate students found very few history department courses in labor history, little development of archival materials, no established journal in the field, and little encouragement from their mentors."

Creditable work in labor history continued to flow, for a while, from labor economists and industrial relations scholars, most of whom now toiled in university programs in those fields. Leading postwar practitioners included Joel Seidman, Lloyd Ulman, James O. Morris, Richard Lester, Walter Galenson, and Mark Perlman. But beginning about 1959 or 1960,younger labor economists and industrial relations scholars no longer took up historical writing (or did so at their professional peril). For reasons that need not be detailed here, there was a headlong retreat from the interdisciplinary scope and methodological empiricism that had long characterized these disciplines. Labor economics abandoned the institutional approach to take up neoclassical analysis and microanalysis with a vengeance. Industrial relations meanwhile asserted itelf as a behavioral science.'

Coincidentally, a number of academic historians were finally readying themselves to step into the breach. For the most part, their early work followed the Wisconsin school in choosing union development as its subject matter. The main difference lay in their attempt to improve labor history as history. Most historical work in the Wisconsin tradition had heretofore been dull, freighted with non-historical concerns, and inattentive to the fine points of the historian's craft. The academic historians were intent on raising labor history to the level of excellence then being achieved in other fields of American history by Oscar Handlin, Richard Hofstadter, and others. Occasionally they came near their mark. Exemplary studies by historians are Robert Christie's Empire in Wood: A History of the Carpenters' Union (Cornell Studies in Industrial Relations, vol. 7: Ithaca: Cornell University: 1956), and Sidney Fine's Sit-Down: The General Motors Strike of 1936-37 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1969). Irving Bernstein's two outstanding volumes, The Lean Years: A History of the American Worker, 1920-1933 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960) and Turbulent Years: A History of the American Worker, 1933-1943 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969), may with some justice be placed in the same grouping, even though Bernstein was by training and vocation an industrial relations scholar. His volumes are straightforward historical studies, meeting all standards of the historical profession, carrying considerable narrative energy, and with their main focus on union development and labor legislation. Academic historians have since continued to produce work in this vein of labor history, although, as we shall see, this work came to be overshadowed in the 1970s and since by work with quite different emphases. [10]

There were other stirrings in the early 1960s. The labor movement had by then gained in sophistication as well as legitimacy and influence, and it was much less reticent about opening itself to scholarly inspection. In 1960, its representatives joined with historians and industrial relations scholars to form the academic journal Labor History. In the same year, Wayne State University established its Archives of Labor History and Union Affairs, with generous help from the United Auto Workers. Along with the older archives in Madison, and smaller collections built up before 1960 at New York's Rand School and at the University of Michigan, the Wayne State effort was joined in the 1960s by major labor archival ventures at Penn State, Duke, Georgia State, Catholic University, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Since then, microfilm reproduction of sources held by these and other institutions has become a mini-industry. Labor historians now have access to a wide variety of journals, proceedings, reports, pamphlets, and manuscripts through this format. [11]

Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of "what a shallow village tale our so-called History is," and how we must write it "broader and deeper if we would truly express our central and widerelated nature." With hindsight, it now seems plain that by the 1960s labor historians had for too long been telling a narrow if not shallow tale of institutions, and that their field badly needed broadening to express the widerelated aspects of working people's lives. As it happened, the 1960s and 1970s witnessed the birth and maturing of this new kind of labor history. At first unnamed, during the 1970s it came to be called "the new labor history" (in contrast with "the old labor history" or sometimes simply "labor history" of the Wisconsin School). In that decade it experienced a remarkable flowering that vaulted the study of working people into the status of a ranking field within the historical profession. Greenwood Press and the university presses at Temple, New York-Albany, IllinoisUrbana, and later Rutgers, established major (and still growing) series of books in the field. And in the report on current historical scholarship in the United States presented by the American Historical Association to the International Congress of the Social Sciences in 1980, an entire chapter was devoted to the field -a signal recognition that would have been unthinkable ten or twenty years earlier. [12]

It rose partly in response to changes taking place in academic history as a whole. As in the early postwar era, university history departments of the 1960s saw an influx of new students and young faculty members whose backgrounds were often non-WASP and usually non-elite, and who maintained at least an incipient interest in bringing their forebears within the scope of historical study. The underpinnings of consensus history were meanwhile fast eroding: the civil rights movement, the urban riots of the late 1960s, the anti-Vietnam war movement, and the women's movement spotlighted societal fissures and grievances which seemed to belie the consensus interpretation's central argument. The discrediting of consensus history meant that groups who had been left out of mainstream political and business decisions need no longer be viewed as marginal, exceptional, inconsequential. Probably most important, the radical New Left politics often engendered in young historians through their participation in the civil rights, antiVietnam war, and women's movements created a politicallybased interest in the impoverished, the oppressed, and ordinary working people. (A radical political perspective does not, of course, mean or require special attention to such people -- witness the work of Philip Foner. But these are the people in whom radicals have most often lodged their sympathies and best hopes for sweeping change, and keen interest in them has been a common, seemingly natural consequence.) And for many, all this was reinforced and channeled by the influence of the English independent Marxist historian E.P. Thompson. Thompson opened up the subject of working class culture for American historians, partly through the magnificent example of close, local study he set in his The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Pantheon, 1963), but more so through his fresh conceptual approach. First, he insisted that class is as much a cultural as an economic formation. Second, he rejected all versions, including Marxist versions, of what has been termed "the Whig fallacy of history" --in which historical events are interpreted mainly in light of their contribution to, or delay of, an enlightened present. Thompson sought to rescue the obscure and "even the deluded" victims of England's industrial Revolution -- those who struggled but did not win --from what he called "the enormous condescension of posterity." [13]

A major theme among many of the radical younger historians thus became "history from the bottom up." Nor was this confined to the new labor history. Also affected were a congery of other fields, loosely arrayed with labor history under the broad term "social history"-some of which had already been enriched during the 1950s by the scholarship of historians such as Handlin and by methodological advances such as those in quantification. Historical scholarship on ethnicity, the family, and community and urban life were reinvigorated during the 1960s. But above all it was scholarship in women's history and African-American history, along with the new labor history, which was energized by young historians working from an anti-consensus and frequently New Left or Movement orientation. In consequence, social history during the 1970s and '80s became the liveliest branch of American history, and the attention of the entire historical profession turned sharply in its direction. The new labor history would eventually come to draw heavily upon the fine work being done in social history's other fields. It would often overlap those fields in its subject matter and sometimes meet them in apparently seamless integration. [14]

Some of the characteristic features of the new labor history were hard to discern until the late 1970s. For a while in the late 1960s it seemed that the "corporate liberal" school would emerge as an important strain. Linked with the New Left's mistrust of the "corporate liberal" institutions which seek reform within the supposedly corrupt larger society, this school's adherents first exposed what they viewed as the corporate ideology of American labor leaders. They went on, in several capable studies, to show that American unions have at times played conservatizing, coopting roles. But the volume of work in this vein receded, if anything, during the ensuing decades. [15]

In the late 1970s, several publications converged to clarify the new labor history's main features. Herbert Gutman, who in the 1960s and early 1970s had stirred the field with his breathtakingly original researchespecially his "Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America, 1815-1919" (American Historical Review, 78 [1973]: 531-88)-in 1976 brought together his previously widely scattered articles in Work, Culture, and Society in American Working Class and Social History (New York: Random House). In 1979, David Montgomery, who had earlier written the influential Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862-1872 (New York: Random House, 1967), brought together his subsequent work in Workers' Control in America: Studies in the History of Work, Technology, and Labor Struggle (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press). And in the same year, David Brody, who had pioneered in the field with his Steelworkers in America: The Non-union Era (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960), pulled its various strains into a coherent portrait in "The Old Labor History and the New: In Search of an American Working Class" (Labor History, 20: 111-26).

A principal feature, it was now clear, was the rough division of much of the field into two camps. One camp, heavily influenced by the work of Thompson and Herbert Gutman, emphasized "working class culture," that is, workers' habits, customs, and values, not only where they worked but especially where they worshipped, played, voted, and lived. Gutman-who died in 1985 at age 56, after a thirty-year teaching career capped by a professorship at the City University of New York-had focused on successive groups of raw recruits to industrialization: rural Americans entering the factories early in the nineteenth century, peasant immigrants entering at century's end. He found them harboring "preindustrial cultural values" which, for a while, at least, helped workers resist both the imposition of industrial discipline in their workplace (and elsewhere) and the internalization of acquisitive individualism. Gutman's themes, and especially his focus on the community as the real arena for investigation of working class culture and activities, have prompted a torrent of book-length community studies, to the extent that they might well be called the characteristic format of the new labor history. [16]

The other camp focused on the factory shop floor and was itself divided into two parts, the larger part starting with the worker. Here the most influential scholar has been David Montgomery, who taught at the University of Pittsburgh from 1962 until 1981, when he moved to Yale. Montgomery's work has recaptured a heritage of workers' struggle for control of the shop floor-finally lost to management in the 1920s-in which workers relied on their technical knowledge and their mutualistic ethic of manliness toward employers and fellow workers. Historians working in this vein are sometimes, half-jokingly, called the "Pittsburgh School," in recognition of the many nowestablished scholars who worked with Montgomery there as graduate students. (The terminology is muddled by the fact that not all historians working in this vein have been Montgomery-trained graduate students, and not all Montgomery-trained graduate students have worked in this vein.) The other side of the subject-the role of management on the shop floor-has been recounted in the late Harry Braverman's brilliant, strident Labor and Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979) and in the work of Daniel Nelson and a number of younger scholars. [17]

What the two camps have had in common is a Thompsonian concern for workers who fought valiant but mostly-losing struggles against corporate industrial capitalism. Another feature common to most of these historians has been their methodological conservatism. While a few have used quantification to outstanding effect, and others have borrowed techniques from linguistics and anthropology, most have been cautious in drawing methods and models from the social sciences -- at least when compared with practitioners of the other branches of social history. Another common feature has been the devotion of much effort to bringing workers' history to working people, in their communities and in their unions. Aimed in part at stimulating workers' recalling and preserving their own past, this "outreach" effort has taken the form of community workshops and exhibitions, and the development of multimedia curricula intended for non-academic audiences. An entire recent issue of The Public Historian: A Journal of Public History was devoted to a discussion of this effort. Another feature they have held in common is the belief, often implicit in their scholarship, that much of what working people experienced and did, at least during the industrializing period from 1815 to 1920, can only be explained in terms of class, and that their membership in a "working class" was a formidable fact of American life. Accordingly, in the 1980s the term "working class history" often came to be used in place of "the new labor history." By then, the latter term inadequately described an enterprise that was no longer new and was no longer confined to the "labor" aspect of working people's lives. [18]

A summary such as this cannot, of course, do justice to the diversity of a field in which serious work has been done by scholars now numbering in the hundreds. This is particularly so since, as was noted earlier, the field reaches toward and sometimes overlaps the other, widespread branches of social history. Single works can often be reasonably claimed by two fields. For example, Gutman always insisted that his retort to the Moynihan Report's Black-family "breakdown" thesis, The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1619-1925 (New York: Pantheon, 1976), was working-class history as well as African-American history. [19]

But "overlap" does not always mean integration. With respect to women's history-vis-a-visworking class history, in particular, there have been pleas for integration where now mere overlapping occurs. The question is not whether the very large and fast-growing body of feminist historical scholarship concerned with working-class women can claim a rightful place under the rubric "working class history." It can and does, and its claim is accepted by historians of the working class who work in other areas. The question, rather, is whether those other historians will accept, or even seriously consider, the use of gender, along with class, as an important analytical category in examining the history of workers of both sexes. As Alice Kessler-Harris, a leading historian of working women, put the argument at the most recent national conference on working class history, held at DeKalb, Illinois, in 1984: working class history "must take account of the central organizing principle of human life, the sexual division of labor, and all that that implies for social relations." But she was mostly ignored by her mostly male audience. Until such arguments are addressed seriously, that large sector of working class history which is also feminist women's history will remain in odd, segregated juxtaposition with the remaining scholarship in the field. (Arguably, it is the "remaining scholarship" which is oddly juxtaposed and segregated.) [20]

Where the 1970s saw the emergence of common themes and a widespread feeling of common enterprise, the 1980s witnessed fragmentation and the questioning of some of the central tenets formulated earlier. Advocates of the historic importance of race and racism among American workers have recently exceeded the feminists' claims for gender, in that they advance race as something that must enter at the expense of class-a jab at the heart, which has predictably stirred much controversy. A criticism of longer standing is that the field is deeply flawed by its lack of concern for power or politics. In dwelling upon temporary survival of working class culture and shop floor control, it is argued, historians of the working class have slighted the obvious power of capitalists and the state -- and the larger experience of defeat. A somewhat different criticism, levelled mainly by historians within the field, is that while the field's ever-growing mountain of monographs has brought forth a wealth of information, our understanding of larger historical process has not kept pace. "We are going to have to start asking ourselves: what does it add up to?" they suggest, especially if historians of the working class (or social historians in general) are ever to reach a wide audience. They are worried, too, that their specialized studies of the separate dimensions of working class life have mirrored the way in which contemporary capitalism segments home from workplace and both from community, thereby "obscuring the operation of class in industrial society." The watchword of the 1980s thus became the need for "synthesis." But the DeKalb conference, which was organized in part to help fill that need, seems to have accomplished very little toward that end. And the same must be said of recent written work in the field, including David Montgomery's long awaited The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987). [21]

One group which has not been prominent among the critics are the many historians who have continued to write institution-focused "labor history." The mutual tolerance that has developed between the two groups is perhaps not so surprising. As with those who became historians of the working class, the 1960s were radicalizing years for the young institutionalists who were falling heir to the Wisconsin tradition. They had no reason to deny the obviously pathbreaking nature of working class historiography, and they were not disposed toward writing history that was politically objectionable from the viewpoint of the historians of the working class. While they continued to focus on labor unions and did grapple with the same "pure and simple," ameliorative impulses within unions that gladdened Commons and Perlman, they generally now viewed those impulses in neutral or unfavorable light themselves, and often sought out contrary impulses in unions wherever they might find them. Further obviating conflict was the fact that historians of the working class had always acknowledged that unions were an important feature of working-class life from the 1930s into the 1970s. They were largely willing to yield over those decades in any case, since the census schedules on which their research often hinged were unavailable for that period and since the features of ethnicity, community, and working-class culture that interested them were increasingly dispersed or submerged in modern urbansuburban America. [22]

In the 1980s, in fact, there has been some shifting toward a blend of the two approaches. David Brody has suggested that the post-1975 decline in the labor movement's membership and power accounts in part for a new interest in union history on the part of the historians of the working class -- and also renewed interest on the part of scholars in labor economics and industrial relations. The decline, he argues, has brought home the fact that unions are not a static feature of the landscape but are subject to the tides of history, and therefore worthy of historical attention. Of the new, history-oriented work being done in industrial relations and economics, the scholarship of the "labor market segmentation" school has drawn the most attention from historians. As the 1980s drew to a close, these points of reconciliation stood in contrast to the broader pattern of fragmentation in the field of working class history. [23]

As with several other academic fields, any account of labor history as practiced in its early decades at Iowa must begin with an explanation of the remarkable role played by Benjamin F. Shambaugh. Born in 1871, Shambaugh received a B.A. from Iowa in 1892, an M.A. from Iowa in 1893, a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance and Economy in 1895, and post-graduate training in history at the German universities in Halle, Leipzig, and Berlin during 189596. Back in Iowa City in 1896, he settled into a lifelong career as a professor in what was shortly to be the University's Political Science Department, becoming chairman in 1900. [24]

His M.A. and Ph.D. research in Iowa frontier history had awakened in him an interest in the State Historical Society of Iowa, then located on the University's grounds in Iowa City. He quickly became a leader among the local scholars who were setting out to make the Society, in the words of Shambaugh's biographer, Alan Schroder, "a true research institution, rather than the museum of curios and storage facility for old newspapers and manuscripts that it was then." He began editing the Society's mostly antiquarian journal in 1900, converting it by 1903 into a modern scholarly journal, the Iowa Journal of History and Politics. Assuming the office of Superintendent and Editor in 1907, meanwhile maintaining his University position, he initiated over a dozen series of publications by the time of his death in 1940, including, most notably for labor history purposes, the Iowa Economic History Series (8 volumes totalling 3103 pages, 1910-1928) and the Iowa Applied History Series (6 volumes containing 65 monographs, totalling 4037 pages, 1912-1930). [25]

In short, he converted the Society into a major research and publishing organization in state and regional history. As Schroder explains, "This was not a state historical society in the model that came to be followed later in the century. Instead, it was what Shambaugh called a 'laboratory of scientific historical research,' in which the public benefited, not by visiting a museum (which the Society did not have) or by doing its own (usually genealogical) research, but by reading the articles and books produced by the Society's own professional historians." [26]

As his use of phrases like "applied history" reveals, Shambaugh hued to a faith in the powers of historical investigation, a faith that will appear quaintly exaggerated to many late twentieth century readers but which was shared during the Progressive Era by many social scientists and reformers -- and, of course, by the small corps of Progressive Historians. "History may be exploited in the cause of social betterment," he announced when launching the Iowa Economic History Series in 1910. History, moreover, was "more than politics and biography." The Society, he declared, "is inspired by the conviction that . . . as a record of the evolution of human institutions [history] includes the social and economic life of man." This was a credo that could welcome, even inspire, scholarship in labor history. [27]

While Shambaugh, like Thwaites at Wisconsin, felt his historical society profoundly fortunate to be situated in a state university town, his manner of exploiting the fact was rather different from Thwaites'. He did not enlist University agencies in large-scale building of the Society's collection. Rather, he drew the writer/historians who produced the Society's publications mostly from among the graduate students and junior faculty of the University, principally from his own Department of Political Science and also from the Department of Political Economy and Sociology (whose purview included economics and commerce as well as sociology). [28]

The scholar most deeply involved in labor history was Ezekiel H. Downey, whose 1908 M.A. thesis at the University developed into History of Labor Legislation in Iowa, a book published by the Society in its Economic History Series in 1910. Shambaugh had helped by hiring him as a Society research assistant and, in the manner of Ely, by securing a Carnegie Institution grant which covered the expenses of data collection. Downey next went to Wisconsin, to work on his Ph.D. under Commons. His dissertation, completed there in 1912, was published in the Economic History Series as History of Work Accident Indemnity in Iowa. By the time of his premature death in 1922, Downey had pursued careers as a teacher at Kenyon College and a civil servant in Pennsylvania's state government, and his writings had earned him a reputation as America's foremost authority on workmen's compensation for industrial accidents .[29]

Others in Shambaugh's orbit made lesser but nonetheless significant contributions. One such scholar was Fred E. Haynes, who earned his B.A. in 1889, his M.A. in 1890, and his Ph.D. in 1891, all from Harvard. Teaching at Morningside College in Sioux City from 1900 to 1914, he was hired by Shambaugh in 1912 to write for the Society part-time. On this basis he wrote "Child Labor Legislation in Iowa" (Iowa Applied History Series, 2 [1914]: 557-627) and then Third Party Movements Since the Civil War, With Special References to Iowa: A Study in Social Politics (Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1916), a 564-page study which devoted a chapter to "Labor Reform Agitation" and touched on labor history at several other points. He was hired by the University in 1916 and taught there until his retirement in 1939. His interests meanwhile were shifting from economics and political science toward sociology. His history, Social Politics in the United States (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1924), treated the labor movement in some detail, relying primarily on the work of the Commons group but also plumbing some original sources -- as did his earlier work in labor history. Another scholar was John Ely Briggs, who received his M.A. from the University in 1914. A year later his book-length History of Social Legislation in Iowa was published as the second of only two numbers in the Society's short-lived Iowa Social History Series. In 1916 he received his Ph.D. from the University and was hired by Shambaugh to teach in the Political Science Department, where he served until his death in 1952. Yet another was Jacob A. Swisher, who held a Ph.D. from Iowa and worked as a research associate at the society from 1922 until his retirement in 1950. He was the author of "The Evolution of Wash Day" (Iowa Journal of History and Politics, 38 [1940]: 3-49). [30]

The ties to Shambaugh and the Society were naturally somewhat stronger in Shambaugh's own Department of Political Science than they were in the Department of Political Economy and Sociology. Researchers affiliated with the latter department's economics and commerce programs, in fact, might best be viewed as a separate orbit of labor history activity, which occasionally intersected Shambaugh's orbit but was in no way dependent upon it. A prime mover here was Isaac A. Loos, who joined the faculty in 1890. He wrote an historical piece for the Society entitled "Child Labor Legislation in Iowa" (Iowa Journal of History and Politics 3 [1905]: 562-82); he was active in Commons' American Association for Labor Legislation; and he was the faculty member at whose suggestion Downey originally undertook his work on the history of labor legislation in Iowa. Loos was also a key figure in the evolution and enlargement of his department into the School of Commerce in 1914 and then the College of Commerce in 1921. (Sociology remained within Commerce until 1946, when it broke off as a separate department within the College of Liberal Arts. After 1948 various departments proliferated within Commerce itself. The College was renamed the College of Business Administration in 1959.) [31]

From 1906 to 1913, Loos taught a course entitled "Socialism and Social Legislation." From 1906 to 1913 his department also offered "Industrial History of the United States," a course which, like its post-1913 successor, "American Economic History," had a strong labor-history component. For a half-century thereafter, commerce was the domain in which most of the courses pertinent to labor history were taught. "Trade Unionism" was offered from 1916 to 1923 and "Social and Economic Reform Movements" (taught by Haynes) from 1928 to 1935. A course in labor legislation was established in 1912, a course in labor economics shortly after World War 1, and a course in industrial relations in the 1930s. Courses in these latter fields were offered consistently thereafter. [32]

Those who taught and took these courses in several instances did substantial work in labor history. Paul S. Pierce, who held a 1900 Ph.D. from Yale, taught at Iowa from 1902 to 1904 and from 1906 to 1919, principally in the economics program, also serving as chairman of the State Child Labor Commission from 1913 to 1919. He was the author of The Freedmen's Bureau: A Chapter in the History of Reconstruction (Studies in Sociology, Economics, Politics, and History, vol. 3; Iowa City: State University of Iowa, 1904), one chapter of which treated labor and labor policy. Edwin C. Robbins earned a B.A. at Iowa in 1910 and authored an extraordinary M. A. thesis in 1912, a largely historical work entitled "The Printers in Cedar Rapids: A Study in Organized Labor." Robbins went on to pursue a distinguished academic career, culminating in a professorship in the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. His publications included several books in the field of labor relations and one more book in labor history: his Railway Conductors: A Study in Organized Labor (Columbia University Studies, vol. 56; New York: 1914). Lorin Stuckey's largely historical 1916 Ph.D. dissertation in economics was published as the book-length Iowa State Federation of Labor (Studies in the Social Sciences, vol. 4; Iowa City: State University of Iowa, 1916.) Much of the teaching in the courses mentioned above was handled during the 1920s and 1930s by C. Woody Thompson and Dale Yoder. Neither man's research interests lay in labor history, though Yoder published extensively in the field of labor relations. [33]

As we have seen, it was characteristic of the era that labor historians, if they were to be found at all in a university, should be found in academic departments encompassing the social sciences and commerce, and not in the department of history. So it was at Iowa. The University's History Department, from the 1890s through the 1940s, employed able teachers and productive scholars, and among its Americanists there were a few, at least, who departed signally from the "history as past politics" ethos. But no one on the History faculty during that half century did original research in labor history. And, with just two exceptions, there was very little interest in the social or economic history of industrial America.

The first of those two exceptions was, however, a very conspicuous one. It was what Arthur M. Schlesinger called his "Iowa interlude." Holding a 1912 Ph.D. from Columbia, Schlesinger came from Ohio State to Iowa City in 1919 as History Department chairman. He left in 1924 for Harvard, where he remained until his retirement in 1954. (He should not be confused with his son, the equally prolific historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who spent much of the Schlesinger interlude in Iowa City attending the nursery school operated by the famous Iowa Child Welfare Research Station.) In the early 1920s, Schlesinger was already applying Progressive History's breadth of interest in social, economic, and cultural history in his prodigious scholarship. His Political and Social History of the United States, 1829-1925 (New York: Macmillan, 1925), written largely at Iowa, contains a long chapter on the labor movement, drawn mainly from the work of the Commons group but also from the published work of the Iowans Haynes and Robbins. Now Schlesinger was ready to also bring Progressive History's breadth to his teaching. At Iowa he revised and taught a course that assumed the title "New Viewpoints in American History"; he taught a new lecture course on America since 1870; he realized a long-cherished ambition by introducing a course entitled "The Social and Cultural History of the United States"; and he taught a new graduate seminar on America since 1870 that emphasized social and cultural history. We may assume, on the basis of a surviving syllabus and the significance accorded labor history in his written work in these fields, that Schlesinger while in the classroom treated labor history in some depth. [34]

It was Schlesinger's impression, writing thirty years later, that in bringing these new emphases to Iowa's History urriculum he was presenting "the first instruction offered in any college or university on that phase of our past." Nor was he content to limit such innovations to his own teaching. As an outgrowth of his course on "New Viewpoints in American History," Schlesinger in 1922 brought out a widely-purchased book under that title. Its main purpose was to summarize, for a readership of high school history teachers and history graduate students, pertinent findings of economists, sociologists, and the Progressive Historians in general -- including material in labor history -- and through that readership to reach a very broad public. Similarly, when Schlesinger discovered that his Political and Social History of the United States was marketable as a classroom text, he and a coauthor published a curriculum-guide companion volume that gave significant attention to the rise of organized labor. [35]

After Schlesinger's departure, several of his courses were taken up by others in the Department: by Louis Pelzer, until his death in 1946, and by Harrison J. Thornton, from his arrival in 1929 until his death in 1952. Thornton-the second exceptionmaintained a social and economic emphasis, but his scholarly interests lay entirely outside the realm of labor history, and his teaching no doubt reflected that fact. From 1924 until after World War II, the only seminars offered in American history were in colonial history and the History of the West. Aside from five undistinguished M.A. theses, labor history was to receive no further serious attention from History Department faculty or students until the 1960s. [36]

While activity in labor history at Iowa was virtually disappearing from the History Department in the years after 1924, it also declined and sat nearly dormant in its orbits of erstwhile strength. The torpor lasted from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s -- ironically, a span which included organized labor's 1935-45 period of meteoric growth. Accounting for the decline in Shambaugh's orbit seems to be simple enough. Shambaugh was cutting back his scholarly publications program, first, in order to build up more popular and conventional programs, and then, more radically, in order to cope with Depressionriddled budgets. The reasons for the torpor in Commerce are less clear, though Thompson's and Yoder's lack of scholarly interest in labor history doubtless had some effect. The only significant work in the field was Jacob Swisher's long 1940 article (see above), and Byron R. Abernethy's outstanding, historically-oriented 1941 Ph.D. dissertation in Political Science, published as Liberty Concepts in Labor Relations (Washington, D.C.; American Council on Public Affairs, 1943). [37]

Abernethy acknowledged his Political Science mentor, John Ely Briggs. He also cited the help of Walter Daykin, who had joined the Commerce faculty in 1930, after a two- year teaching stint at Kansas, and who would remain at the University until his retirement in 1961. By the early 1940s, Daykin was in charge of Commerce's courses in labor economics and labor legislation. It was under his influence that labor history began a mild but sustained comeback. From the mid-1940s through the 1950s , the only research done in labor history at Iowa was conducted by Ph.D. candidates working with Walter Daykin. [38]

Daykin was a man of unusual experience. After starting his working life at age sixteen in a central Illinois coal mine, he went on to earn his B.A., at age 35, from Iowa in 1926, and his M.A. in 1927 and his Ph.D. in 1930. While a professor at Iowa he also worked extensively in labor mediation and arbitration, including service as a member of the U. S. Wage Stabilization Board during World War II. His own publications, primarily in labor law and legislation, barely skirted labor history, but he did number labor history among his very wide range of interests. (His M.A. thesis was "A Study of Utopias," his Ph.D. dissertation "The Sociological Significance of Negro Literature.") And his adherence to the institutional-economics approach to labor relations and labor economics afforded labor history an acceptable berth in many of the research projects launched by his graduate students. By my count, nineteen of the dissertations he supervised have a significant labor history component (the equivalent of one chapter or more). Of these, six contain three or more chapters that are primarily focused on labor history. [39]

Further, Daykin was instrumental in the 1950 founding of the University's Bureau of (later "Center For") Labor and Management, the labor unit of which was primarily involved in short courses and miscellaneous extension services for local, state, regional, and occasionally national labor organizations. (The labor unit became a separate entity, the Labor Center, in 1975.) While the bulk of these activities was unrelated to the practice of labor history, the labor unit nonetheless advanced labor history's cause at Iowa. It did so by generating in its publications series occasional pamphlets involving historical investigation, and it did so by bringing to Iowa as staff members Harry E. Graham (Ph.D. Wisconsin, 1967) and Anthony V. Sinicropi (M.I.L.R. Cornell, 1958, Ph.D. Iowa, 1968). Graham brought a strong historical dimension to the several courses in labor relations which he taught in the College of Business Administration during his 1967-1970 stay at the University. While at Iowa he also completed his The Paper Rebellion: Development arid Upheaval in Pulp and Paper Unionism, published by the University of Iowa Press in 1970 -- the Press's only book in the labor history field prior to 1989. Sinicropi, who was hired by the labor unit in 1958 and left it to join the Business Administration faculty in 1972, was a labor educator and arbitrator of growing national reputation in 1968, when he attracted to the University a sizable labor history research project, envisioned and funded by the major national union representing telephone workers. The Communications Workers of AmericaUniversity of Iowa Oral History Project, conducted from 1968 to 1972, eventually completed 89 tape recorded interviews with men and women who had helped build telephone unionism across the country, transcribed on some 3000 pages of text. Ph.D. candidates in History at Iowa had been asked to apply for the job of interviewer. I did so and was hired. I later relied heavily on the transcribed material when writing "Toward Industrial Unionism: Bell Telephone Workers and Company Unions, 1929-1937" (Labor History, 16: 5-36) and in completing my Ph.D. dissertation in 1977. The revised dissertation was published as The Making of Telephone Unionism, 1920-1947 (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1985). [40] [Ed. Note: In 2003 a set of the project interviews were cataloged to the Iowa collection as xfHD6515.T33S332 1969, volumes 1-11 plus index. Archival records for the project are part of the CWA Papers in the labor history archive at New York University Library.]

Before returning to the History Department, where much change affecting labor and working class history had meanwhile taken place, we may briefly take note of postwar developments elsewhere on campus. Four postwar Ph.D. dissertations in Political Science contained a significant labor-history dimension, normally within one or two introductory chapters. (A fifth, Ronald M. Mason's outstanding 1981 dissertation, published as Participatory and Workplace Democracy: A Theoretical Development in Critique of Liberalism [Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982], touches on labor history but only barely.) Ph.D. candidates in Sociology, Drama, and Speech Communication have written dissertations which are not in themselves labor or working class history but which amass labor-focused material that may well be of use to future historians of the American working class. The College of Business Administration, with Daykin gone after 1961 -- and the concurrent onset, at the national level, of the abovementioned intellectual constructs in labor economics and labor relations which viewed labor history as mostly irrelevantproduced no significant labor history in the form of Ph.D. dissertations or faculty publications. Roberta Till-Retz, of the Labor Center, maintains an interest in labor history, but she has not published in the field. [41]


This is the first of a two-part article.
here to go to Part Two.




[1] Benjamin K. Hunnicutt, typescript of tape recorded Dec. 12, 1989, interview by the author, in Iowa City, pp. 2-4.

[2] Thomas Bender, "Making History Whole Again," New York Times Book Review, Oct. 16, 1985, p. 42; American Historical Association, Committee on the Planning of Research, Historical Scholarship in America, Needs and Opportunities (New York: the Association, 1932); Ira Berlin, "Herbert G. Gutman and the American Working Class," in Herbert G. Gutman, Power & Culture: Essays on the American Working Class, ed. by Ira Berlin (New York: Pantheon, 1987), p. 8.

[3] David Brody, "Labor History, Industrial Relations, and the Crisis of American Labor," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 43 (1989): 8; David Brody, "The Old Labor History and the New," Labor History, 20 (1979):.112; Leon Fink, "The Wisconsin School," paper given at a conference, "Perspectives on Labor History: The Wisconsin School and Beyond," March 10, 1990, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

[4] John C. Colson, Academic Ambitions and Library Development: The American Bureau of Industrial Research and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin 1904-18 (Occasional Papers, no. 159; Champaign: University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 1983), pp. 5-7.

[5] Philip P. Mason, "Labor Archives in the United States," Archivium (Munich), 27 (1980): 169; Brody, "Labor," 8.

[6] Berlin, "Gutman," p. 10; Melvyn Dubofsky, "Give Us that Old Time Labor History: Philip S. Foner and the American Worker," Labor History, 26 (1985): 122.

[7] Ronald W. Schatz, "Review Essay: Labor Historians, Labor Economics, and the Question of Synthesis," Journal of American History, 71 (1984): 94, 99; Dubofsky, "Give Us," 122; Brody, "Old," 112.

[8] Dubofsky, "Give us," 122-23; Berlin, "Gutman," p. 8; Brody, "Old," 112; Mari Jo Buhle and Paul Buhle, "The New Labor History at the Cultural Crossroads," Journal of American History 75 (1988): 152; Sean Wilentz, "The New History & Its Critics, Dissent, Spring 1989, p. 244; Bender, "Making," p. 42

[9] Robert H. Zieger, "Industrial Relations and Labor History in the Eighties," Industrial Relations, 22 (1983): 61. See especially Seidman's, American Labor from Defense to Reconversion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953); Ulman's The Rise of the National Trade Union (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press [hereinafter designated HUP], 1955); Morris' Conflict Within the AFL: A Study in Craft Versus Industrial Unionism, 1901-1938 (Cornell Studies in Industrial Relations, v. 10; Ithaca: Cornell University, 1958); Lester's, As Unions Mature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1958); Galenson's The CIO Challenge to the AFL: A History of the American Labor Movement, 1935-1941 (Cambridge: HUP, 1960); and Perlman's The Machinists: A New Study in Trade Unionism (Cambridge: HUP, 1961).

[10] Brody, "Labor," 10-11; Zieger, "Industrial," 64.

[11] Zieger, "Industrial," 62-63; Mason, "Archives," 170-71.

[12] I owe the Emerson quote to Wilentz, "New History," p. 249. See also Berlin, "Gutman," p. 17; Brody, "Labor," 6.

[13] Robert Zieger notes that the term "New Left" is "one of those catch phrases that are inaccurate, misleading, and trite but which, through repeated use, become essential. It carries with it connotations of youth, rejection of rigid ideological formulations, antagonism toward the liberal, democratic consensus that has characterized most American reform, and a determination to be spontaneous, free from given values and rules, and actively involved in the lives of the oppressed." "Workers and Scholars: Recent Trends in American Labor Historiography," Labor History, 13: (1972): 257n. See also Zieger, "Industrial," 63; Brody, "Old," 114; Alice Kessler-Harris, "A New Agenda for American Labor History: A tendered Analysis and the Question of Class" in Perspectives on American Labor History: The Problem of Synthesis, ed. by J. Carroll Moody and Kessler-Harris (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1989), pp. 220-21; E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Random House, 1963), p. 12; Brody, "Labor," 15; and Brody, "Reconciling the Old Labor History and the New," paper given at "Perspectives on Labor History," March 9, 1990.

[14] Brody "Labor," 11; Kessler-Harris, "Agenda," p. 218; James M. McPherson, "Wartime," New York Review of Books, April 12, 1990, p. 33.

[15] An early example is Ronald Radosh, "The Corporate Ideology of American Labor Leaders from Gompers to Hillman," Studies on the Left 6 (1966): 66-88. A later example is Nelson Lichtenstein, Labor's War at Home: The CIO in World War II (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 92. The argument might be made that the institutional emphasis of this school places them more logically with the old labor history than with the new. See also Christopher L. Tomlins, "New Directions in American Labor History," Labour History, no. 43 (1982): 92; Zieger, "Workers," 257.

[16] Brody, "Old," 124; J. Carroll Moody, "Introduction," in Perspectives on, pp. x-xi; Berlin, "Gutman," pp. 13, 38-39; Michael J. Frisch and Daniel J. Walkowitz, "Introduction" in Working Class America: Essays on Labor, Community, and American Society, ed. by Frisch and Walkowitz (Urbana: University of Illinois Press [hereinafter designated UOIP], 1983), p. x. Titles of a large number of community studies may be viewed in any recent listing of the UOIP's Working Class in American History series, to be found at the back of any recent volume in that series.

[17] Brody, "Old," 116-17; Tomlins, "New," 94-95, 98; Lawrence T. McDonnell, "'You are too Sentimental': Problems and Suggestions for a New Labor History," Journal of Social History 17 (1984): 639. See also the discussion and bibliography in David Montgomery, "Trends in Working Class History," Labour/Le Travail, 19 (1987): 17-18.

[18] On methodologies, see Brody, "Old," 119-21; Berlin, "Gutman," pp. 20-21;John P. Diggins "Comrades and Citizens: New Mythologies in American Historiography," American Historical Review, 90 (1985): 625; Leon Fink, "The New Labor History and the Powers of Historical Pessimism: Consensus, Hegemony, and the Case of the Knights of Labor," Journal of American History, 75 (1988): 11617; Kessler-Harris, "Agenda," p. 222. Zieger, "Workers," 264; Brody, "Labor," 12. On outreach, see especially James R. Green, "Workers, Unions, and the Politics of Public History," The Public Historian, 11 (1989): 11-38. On "class," see Shelton Stromquist, typescript of tape recorded Nov. 29, 1989, interview by the author in Iowa City, p. 3; Brody, "Labor," 13; Moody "Introduction," p. x.

[19] Berlin, "Gutman," p. 46; Brody, "Old," 118.

[20] Lois Rita Helmbold and Ann Schofield, "Women's Labor History, 1790-1945," Reviews in American History, 17 (1989): 501, 513. The quote is from Kessler-Harris, "Agenda," p. 231. The response to Kessler-Harris' remarks, which were probably somewhat different in oral form than in the printed version given here, is described in Mari Jo Buhle, "The Future of American Labor History: Toward a Synthesis," Radical Historian's Newsletter, no. 44 (1984): 2.

[21] Stromquist interview, p. 6; Richard Schneirov, "Political Economy and Class Relations," Reviews in American History, 16 (1988): 440; Michael Kazin, "Limits of the Workplace," Labor History, 30 (1989): 111; Michael Kazin, "Essay Review: Struggling with Class Struggle," Labor History, 28 (1987): 498, 507; Michael Kazin, "The Historian as Populist," New York Review of Books, May 12, 1988, p. 49; Nell Irvin Painter, "One or Two More Things About The Fall of the House of Labor," Labor History, 30 (1989): 118-19; Herbert Hill, "Myth-making as Labor History: Herbert Gutman and the United Mine Workers of America," International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 2 (1989):132-200; and the replies and rejoinder at 2 (1989): 361-405, 587-95; McDonnell, "Sentimental," 641; Eugene Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, "The Political Crisis of Social History: A Marxian Perspective," Journal of Social History, 10 (1976): 216; Berlin, "Gutman," pp. 56-59; Jean Monds, "Workers' Control and the Historians: A New Economism," New Left Review, no. 97 (1976): 81-104. The quotes are from Brody, "Old," 122, and Frisch and Walkowitz, "Introduction," p. xi. See also Bender, "Making," p. 43; Kessler-Harris, "Agenda," pp. 224-25; Buhle, "Future," 1-2.

[22] Brody, "Old," 121; Nelson Lichtenstein, "Labor History in the Realist Vein," Reviews in American History, 5 (1987): 308. Among the "young institutionalists" I would include Robert H. Zieger, Warren Van Tine, Howell Harris, Joshua Freeman, John Barnard, Bruce Nelson, myself, and perhaps Nelson Lichtenstein and Ronald Schatz.

[23] Brody, "Labor," 14-16; Brody, "Reconciling;" Schatz, "Review Essay," 95. Examples of "blend" are Ronald Schatz's The Electrical Workers: A History of Labor at General Electric and Westinghouse, 1923-1960 (Urbana: UOIP, 1983) and On the Line: Essays in the History of Auto Work, ed. by Nelson Lichtenstein and Stephen Meyer (Urbana: UOIP, 1989). The key "labor market segmentation" work is David M. Gordon, Richard Edwards, and Michael Reich, Segmented Work, Divided Workers: The Historical Transformation of Work in the United States (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982).

[24] Alan M. Schroder, "Benjamin F. Shambaugh" in Historians of the American Frontier: A Bio-Bibliographical sourcebook, ed. by John R. Wunder (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1988) p. 611.

[25] Ibid, pp. 611-12; Ruth A. Gallaher, "Benjamin F. Shambaugh," Iowa Journal of History and Politics (hereinafter designated IJHP), 38 (1940): 228-29.

[26] Schroder, "Shambaugh," p. 612.

[27] Benjamin F. Shambaugh, "Editor's Introduction" in E.H. Downey, History of Labor Legislation in Iowa (Iowa Economic History Series, v. 1; Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa [hereinafter designated SHSI] 1910), p. vi.

[28] Reuben G. Thwaites, "State and Local Historical Societies," IJHP, 4 (1906): 252; Colson, Academic, pp. 7-9; Benjamin F. Shambaugh, "A Brief History of the State Historical Society of Iowa," IJHP 1 (1903): 139; Schroder, "Shambaugh," p. 612; Leland Elmer Hotts, "The History of the State University of Iowa: The Development of History and the Social Sciences, 1906-1946" (M.A. thesis, State University of Iowa [hereinafter designated SUI] 1947), pp. 12-25.

[29] Downey, Labor Legislation, p. ix; E.H. Downey, Workmen's Compensation (New York: Macmillan 1924), "Prefatory Note."

[30] Folders on Haynes, Swisher, and Briggs in the University of Iowa Archives (hereinafter designated UIA); Haynes obituary in American Sociological Review 25 (1959): 103.

[31] Hotts, "History," pp. 12-22, 25, 110; American Association for Labor Legislation, Third Annual Meeting, New York, Dec. 28-30, 1909; Proceedings, Reports, Addresses (New York: The Association, 1910), p. 4; Downey, Labor Legislation, p. ix.

[32] Hotts, "History," pp. 89, 93-95, 99-100, 107.

[33] Folder on Pierce in UIA; Who's Who in America (Chicago: Marquis, 1940-41), p. 2190. Theses by Yoder and extensive publications by both Yoder and Thompson are listed in the public catalog of the UI Libraries.

[34] Arthur M. Schlesinger, "A Word about the 'New' History," University of Iowa Service Bulletin, 5 (Jan. 15, 1921): 1; Schlesinger, In Retrospect: The History of a Historian (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1963), pp. 62-74; Hotts, "History," pp. 32-39; Schlesinger, New Viewpoints in American History (New York: Macmillan, 1922); Schlesinger and Homer C. Carey, A New Syllabus of American History, 1492-1925 (Columbus, O.: privately printed, 1925).

[35] Schlesinger, In Retrospect, pp. 68-71; Schlesinger, New Viewpoints, vii-viii, 96-98, 33-34, 148-49, 206-10, 257-59, 285-86; Schlesinger, New Syllabus, pp. 90-91.

[36] Hotts, "History," pp. 38-45; Thornton folder in UIA; Thornton, The History of the Quaker Oats Company (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1933). The M.A. theses were Sherman W. Hirschler, "Labor and Cotton Manufacture in the New South" (1931); Esther Martinson, "The Problems of Immigration and Labor in the United States, 1790-1840" (1933); William H. Glover, "The International Labor Organization" (1939); G. Arthur Luther, "The Cotton Sharecropper of the Southeast Under the New Deal" (1942); and Darrell Ross, "Labor Ideals in the Eighteen Fifties" (1944).

[37] Schroder, "Shambaugh," p. 612.

[38] Abernethy, "Concepts of Liberty in American Industrial Relations" (Ph.D. dissertation, UI, 1941), acknowledgments page. Folder on Daykin in UIA; Hott, "History," pp. 99-100.

[39] Folder on Daykin in UIA; the author's conversations with Daykin in the late 1960s; Sarah Scott Edwards and Pauline Cook, eds., Theses and Dissertations Presented in the Graduate College of the State University of Iowa, 1900-1950 (Iowa City: UI Libraries, 1952), pp. 20-24, 39-41, 52-54, 6364; computerized keyword search of Dissertation Abstracts International, in CD-ROM format (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1989). The six were Oscar Schnicker, "Trend Toward Industrial Democracy as Evidenced in Labor Legislation Since 1930" (1944); Ontjo R. Wessels, a dissertation published as Group Bargaining Activities among White-Collar Employees (National Office Management Association, Bulletin Nos. 6/7 [1947, 81 pp.]); Eldred R. Kuchel, "The Changing Attitude of Organized Labor with Reference to a Planned Economy" (1954); John V. Meador, "An Analysis of Work Restriction and its Status under Federal Law" (1955); Leslie E. Munneke, "An Analysis of Recent State Labor Legislation" (1955); Irving Kovarsky, "A Social and Legal Analysis of the Secondary Boycott in Labor Disputes" (1956).

[40] Daykin folder in UIA. Examples of pamphlets involving historical investigation are David E. Cooper and Craig Lloyd, Occupational Characteristics of the Iowa Labor Force, 1940-1960 (Research Series, no. 26; Iowa City: UI Center for Labor and Management, 1962), and Mario Bognanno, Iowa Employment Patterns and Projections, 1940-1970 (Monograph Series, UI Center for Labor and Management, 1966). Author's conversations with Graham and Sinicropi, 1968-69.

[41] The four Political Science theses were Edward S. Marshall, "The Coverage of Farm Workers by Old Age and Survivors' Insurance: A Legislative History," (1951); William D. Spear, "A Plan of Integration and Definition of Labor Functions within a State Department of Labor in Iowa" (1954); James G. Mellen, "Foreign Activities of the AFL-CIO" (1967); and Robert B. Mills, "The Generational Theory in Political Research: A Chort Analysis of Public Opinion toward Labor Unions, 1937-1967" (1972). Postwar theses of possible use to historians of the working class are Ramona T. Mattson, "A Critical Evaluation of Florence Kelley's Speaking on the Child Labor Issue" (SpeechTheater, 1956); Walter S. Corrie, Jr., "Work as a 'Central Life Interest' A Comparison of the Amana Colony Worker with the NonAmana Colony Worker in a Given Industrial Setting" (Sociology, 1957); Karyn C. Rybacki, "A Case Study of Organizational Apologia: The American Federation of Labor, 1945-1956" (Speech Communication, 1979). See also Dale Yoder, "Some Significant Attitudes of Iowa Laborers" (Sociology, 1929); and Irving Christiansen, "Absenteeism in Industry" (Commerce 1947). There were occasional M.A. theses in the College of Business Administration with substantial labor-history components, e.g. James E. Foley's "Labor Union Jurisdictional Disputes in the Quad Cities' Farm Equipment Industry, 1949-1955" (1965) and Robert D. Winn's "The Functions of the Iowa Federation of Labor, 1893-1964" (1966); telephone conversations with Jack Fiorito, of the UI's Industrial Relations and Human Resources Department, and Till-Retz, December 5, 1989.