Making Capitalism Safe
Work Safety and Health Regulation in America, 1880-1940
A broad, historical appraisal of the evolution of work safety and health regulation in the U.S.
Workplaces in the United States are safer today than they were 120 years ago. In this book, Donald W. Rogers attributes this improvement partly to the development in the Progressive Era of surprisingly strong state-level work safety and health regulatory agencies, a patchwork of commissions and labor departments that advanced safety law from common-law negligence to the modern system of administrative regulation.
Centering on the most important of these state agencies, the Wisconsin Industrial Commission, Rogers examines how Wisconsin's program operated in practice, what its results were, and how it compared to protective labor law arrangements in Ohio, California, New York, Illinois, and Alabama. He illuminates the achievements of these agencies, including their integration of workers compensation and commission regulation (two bedrocks of modern occupational safety law), as well as their establishment of worker-employer advisory committees, administrative safety codes, a "safety first" ethic, and "prevailing good practices" in modernizing firms. He also reveals the mixed success that these bodies met in their code enforcement efforts and industrial health initiatives.
Rogers shows how safety commissions reconciled technological progress with industrial efficiency, justice, and stability. Connecting this history to the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1970, Making Capitalism Safe will revise historical understandings of state regulation, compensation insurance, and labor law politics--issues that remain pressing in our time.
"A first-rate political and legal history. . . . Recommended."--Choice
"A wonderfully interesting book. Making Capitalism Safe is full of new information on the woefully overlooked and understudied state-level industrial safety apparatus of the twentieth-century United States. This study will be required reading for scholars in fields ranging from business and political history to law, political science, and more."--John Fabian Witt, author of The Accidental Republic: Crippled Workingmen, Destitute Widows, and the Remaking of American Law
To order online:
To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)
Essays on the History of Voting and Voting Rights in America
Edited by Donald W. Rogers
Labor, the Left, and Wilsonian Internationalism
Labor Legislation in Europe, the United States, and Australia, 1880-1920
Edited by Ulla Wikander, Alice Kessler-Harris, and Jane Lewis
Autoworkers and the Elusive Postwar Boom
Daniel J. Clark
Edited by Leon Fink and Juan Manuel Palacio
History, Power, Rights
Comparative Histories of the United States and Australia
Edited by Greg Patmore and Shelton Stromquist
A History of Working-Class Intellectual Life
Congress and Sports Antitrust, 1951-1989
David George Surdam
Multiethnic Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century Los Angeles
David M. Struthers
Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area
Changing Social Landscapes in Middle America
Edited by Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood