Hagley History Hangout/New Episode Available!

New episode is available in the Hagley History Hangout.  In her book The Industrialists: How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism, Jennifer A. Delton traces the history of the National Association of Manufacturers—NAM—from its origins in 1895 to today. She argues that NAM—an organization best known for fighting unions, promoting “free enterprise,” and defending corporate interests—was also surprisingly progressive. Delton shows how it encouraged companies to adopt innovations such as safety standards, workers’ comp, and affirmative action, and worked with the US government and international organizations to promote the free exchange of goods and services across national borders. While NAM’s modernizing and globalizing activities helped to make American industry the most profitable and productive in the world by midcentury, they also eventually led to deindustrialization, plant closings, and the decline of manufacturing jobs. The Industrialists is the story of a powerful organization that fought US manufacturing’s political battles, created its economic infrastructure, and expanded its global markets—only to contribute to the widespread collapse of US manufacturing by the close of the twentieth century. More information about the book is available here.  Jennifer A. Delton is professor of history at Skidmore College. Her previous books include Rethinking the 1950s: How Anticommunism and the Cold War Made America LiberalRacial Integration in Corporate America, 1940–1990; and Making Minnesota Liberal: Civil Rights and the Transformation of the Democratic Party. Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-4

 

Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at  https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.