The State and the Unions

Front Cover
CUP Archive, Aug 30, 1985 - History - 348 pages
0 Reviews
This book was first published in 1985. The enactment of the Wagner National Labor Relations Act in 1935 gave organized labor what it has regarded ever since as one of its greatest assets: a legislative guarantee of the right of American workers to organize and bargain collectively. Yet while the Wagner Act's guarantees remain substantially unaltered, organized labor in America today is in decline. Addressing this apparent paradox, Tomlins offers an examination of the impact of the National Labor Relations Act on American unions. By studying the intentions of policy makers in the context of the development of labor law from the late nineteenth century, and by looking at the course of labor history since the act's passage, Tomlins shows how public policy has been shaped to confine labor's role in the American economy. If unions want a cure for their contemporary malaise, he concludes, they must recognize that many of their problems stem from the laws which purport to protect them.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


A corporate political economy
Law labor and ideology
From conspiracy to collective bargaining
Labor and the liberal state
A legal discourse
Utopians and technocrats
Lie down like good dogs
The TaftHartley Act
The state and the unions

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1985)

Michael Grossberg is the Sally M. Reahard Professor of History and a Professor of Law at Indiana University. His research focuses on the relationship between law and social change, particularly the intersection of law and family.

Bibliographic information