Why Wagner? A Response to Robert Zieger
Robert Zieger's “Historians and the U.S. Industrial Relations Regime” offers both a crisp historiographical survey of the field and a thoughtful agenda for further research. Iagree with much of what he has to say, particularly concerning our fascination with the first fifteen yearsof modern labor policy (running from the early New Deal through the Taft-Hartley Act) and our relative neglect of the postwar era. Having said this, I want to turn our attention back to 1935, in part because the Wagner Act is such an important and defining moment, and in part becauseZieger casually dismisses critical interpretations of the Wagner Act's passage and logic as “ahistorical” or “ideologically-driven speculations.” As one whose scholarship is caricatured in this way, I appreciate the opportunity to respond.