Why has labor played a more limited role in national politics in the United States than it has in other advanced industrial societies? Victoria Hattam demonstrates that voluntarism, as American labor's policy was known, was the American Federation of Labor's strategic response to the structure of the American state, particularly to the influence of American courts. The AFL's strategic calculation was not universal, however. This book reveals the competing ideologies and acts of interpretation that produced these variations in state-labor relations.
Originally published in 1993.
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"[An interpretation] that will significantly restructure debate about the state, political culture, and working-class formation for some time to come."--William H. Sewell, Jr., The University of Chicago
"A remarkably original interpretation of American labor history that places labor's struggles in the broad context of American political and legal developments."--Morton J. Horwitz, Harvard Law School
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