Taft, Philip, 1902-1976

Alternative names
Birth 1902-03-22
Death 1976-11-17

Biographical notes:

Labor historian, economist, and professor of economics at Brown University; d. 1979.

From the description of Papers, 1960-1972. (Wayne State University). WorldCat record id: 28417257

Philip Taft, Professor of Economics at Brown University, was a leading historian on the American labor movement. He died in 1976.

From the description of Articles, 1939-1976. (University of Texas at Arlington). WorldCat record id: 22940204

Labor historian.

From the description of Reminiscences of Philip Taft : oral history, 1976. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309738331

Philip Taft served as a professor in the economics department at Brown University from 1937 to 1968. An historian of the American labor movement, Taft published 14 books and over 80 scholarly articles on the subject during his lifetime. He began his study of labor in Alabama in 1973 while serving as a consultant to the Center for Labor Education and Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He died in 1976 without having finished preparing his manuscript for publication. A revised and edited version of the manuscript was, however, published posthumously in 1981 under the title Organizing Dixie: Alabama Workers in the Industrial Era.

From the description of Research notes on Alabama labor history, 1902-1977. (Birmingham-Jefferson Public Library). WorldCat record id: 25557684

Philip Taft was one of the nation's foremost historians of the American labor movement, especially the American Federation of Labor. He wrote 14 books and more than 82 articles and was recognized by scholars and trade union leaders as a chief source on the growth of American labor.

Born March 22, 1902 in Syracuse, NY, Taft dropped out of school in the sixth grade and worked as an errand boy, a field and factory worker, a coal passer on ore boats in the Great Lakes and a pipe liner in the oil fields of Kansas. He completed high school at night and entered the University of Wisconsin at the age of 26 in 1928. He was co-author with his teacher, Selig Perlman, of the fourth volume of "History of Labor in the United States," which appeared in 1935 when he received his doctorate. He worked for the Wisconsin Industrial Commission, the Resettlement Administration and the Social Security Administration before joining the Brown faculty in 1937. He was chairman of the economics department in 1949-1953 while writing such volumes as "Economics and Problems of Labor" (1942), the chapter on the growth of union membership under the New Deal in the Twentieth Century Fund's "How Collective Bargaining Works" and "Movements for Economic Reform" (1950). A member of the Brown University faculty for 31 years, Dr. Taft retired in 1968. He did not give up his research and in 1975 was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to continue studying the history of the labor movement in Alabama.

Among many renowned works, Philip Taft is the author of "The A.F. Of L. in the Time of Gompers" (New York, Harper [1957]); "Corruption and Racketeering in the Labor Movement" (Ithaca [New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, 1970]); "Economics and Problems of Labor" (Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole sons [c1942]); "History of Labour in the United States" (New York, Macmillan, 1918-35), with John Commons and others; and "United They Teach; The Story of the United Federation of Teachers" (Los Angeles, Nash Pub. [1974]).

Philip Taft died in Providence, RI on November 17, 1976 at the age of 74.

From the guide to the Philip Taft records, 1840-1976., 1840-1976, (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.)


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