More than Economism: The Politics of Workers’ Safety and Health, 1932-1947

Even within the context of the New Deal, an agency of the Department of Labor was unusual for its innovations and activism. The Division of Labor Standards went beyond the economism of hours and wages to the advocacy of a safe and healthy work place. Unlike the Public Health Service, the division eschewed the “neutrality” of research and information gathering; it sought to intervene, directly and through the states, in the work place. The end of World War II unleashed a conservative reaction that restrained government’s responsibility for several decades.

Author(s): Gerald Markowitz; David Rosner

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Volume 64, Issue 3 (pages 331–354)
Published in 1986