Cover for GOMPERS: The Samuel Gompers Papers, Volume 12: The Last Years, 1922-24. Click for larger image

The Samuel Gompers Papers, Volume 12

The Last Years, 1922-24

The final years of a steadfast fighter for labor justice

Still working hard in his seventies, Samuel Gompers gave no thought to retiring. But he faced a world of challenges in his final years as president of the American Federation of Labor. Ascendant Republicans were hostile. Conflicts over tactics and strategies divided the labor movement. And continuing unemployment kept the workforce in check. Despite all this, Gompers "kept the faith," helping revitalize the AFL's nonpartisan political efforts, launching a campaign to organize women workers, and strengthening the Pan-American Federation of Labor. At the same time, he challenged government agencies like the Railroad Labor Board and continued his efforts to abolish child labor and fight labor injunctions.

Although historians often assess these years as the most conservative and least productive period of Gompers's life, this final volume of the Samuel Gompers Papers demonstrates that even in this tumultuous time he continued his forward-looking leadership of the labor movement and retained his keen sense of judgment.


"A distinguished and invaluable collection."--Bruce Laurie, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

"This last volume is as exceptionally well produced as the first. . . recaptures the force, the failings, and the achievements of this unflappable union leader"--The Journal of American History


Peter J. Albert and Grace Palladino are codirectors of the Samuel Gompers Papers. Peter J. Albert's other books include the fifteen-volume Perspectives on the American Revolution, coedited with Ronald Hoffman. Grace Palladino's most recent book is Skilled Hands, Strong Spirits: A Century of Building Trades History.

This volume was supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

To order online:
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