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Grant number like: FB-51793-05

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David Scott Witwer
Lycoming College (Williamsport, PA 17701-5100)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006

Westbrook Pegler, Anti-Unionism, and the Conservative Response to the New Deal

This book will trace the impact of a union corruption scandal exposed by the prominent columnist Westbrook Pegler in 1939 and 1940. It will study the ways in which Pegler and his publisher, Roy Howard, drew on this scandal to build an influential critique of the growing power of organized labor and of the New Deal. Following Pegler’s lead, conservatives used the problem of union corruption to raise concerns about the growth of government and the threat it posed to individual rights. Finally, the book will consider the efforts by the leaders of organized labor to respond to this scandal. The frustrations they encountered help to explain labor’s political decline in the post-WWII years.