David Brody

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David Brody (born June 5, 1930) is an American historian, who is professor emeritus of history at the University of California-Davis.

Life and education[edit]

Brody was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Barnet and Ida (Gulker) Brody, who were immigrants to the United States. Working his way through Harvard University, he received his bachelor's degree in 1952, a master's degree in 1953 and Ph.D. in 1958.

He married Susan Schapiro in 1955. The couple have two daughters and a son.

As Brody explains, he did not intend to become a labor historian:

Research focus[edit]

Brody's research focuses on the American labor movement and American history. Along with David Montgomery and Herbert Gutman, he is credited with founding the field of "new labor history" in North America, which examined working-class culture rather than simply workers' organizations as a source of history.

Brody's most coherent statement of the "new labor history" can be found in his article titled "The Old Labor History and the New: In Search of an American Working Class" (Labor History, 20[1979]: 111–26).

Brody rose to prominence following the 1960 publication of his pioneering history of early steelworker unions, The Steelworkers in America: The Nonunion Era, a book based on his doctoral dissertation. He has written numerous articles and book-length treatments of the ethical, organizational and social construction of work and employment.

In recent years, Brody has focused on the origins and transformation of American labor law, labor law reform and weaknesses in the structure and interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act.

Professor Brody is affiliated with the Institute of Industrial Relations (IIR) at the University of California, Berkeley.

Memberships and awards[edit]

Brody is a member of the Society of American Historians and the American Historical Association. He served as president of the Pacific Coast branch of the American Historical Association from 1991 to 1992. He is also a member of the Organization of American Historians, and served on the group's executive board from 1976 to 1979.

Brody was a senior fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1978. He won a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship in 1983, and was appointed as a senior professor in the Fulbright Program in 1975. In 2008 he won the Sol Stetin Award for Labor History from the Sidney Hillman Foundation and a Distinguished Service to Labor and Working-Class History Award from the Labor and Working-Class History Association.

Brody is a member of Local 3 (San Francisco Chapter) of the National Writers Union, Local 1981, United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO.

Books by David Brody[edit]

Sole author[edit]

  • The American Labor Movement. Reprint ed. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1985. ISBN 978-0-8191-4667-0
  • The Butcher Workmen: A Study of Unionization. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964. ISBN 978-0-674-08925-9
  • Essays on the Age of Enterprise: 1870-1900. Ft. Worth: Dryden Press, 1974. ISBN 978-0-03-084406-5
  • In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker. New York: Oxford University Press USA, 1993. ISBN 978-0-19-506791-0
  • Labor Embattled: History, Power, Rights. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2005. Cloth ISBN 978-0-252-03004-8; Paperback ISBN 978-0-252-07246-8
  • Labor in Crisis: The Steel Strike of 1919. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1987. ISBN 978-0-252-01373-7
  • Steelworkers in America: The Nonunion Era. Illini Book edition. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-252-06713-6
  • Workers in Industrial America: Essays on the Twentieth-Century Struggle. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press USA, 1993. ISBN 978-0-19-504504-8

Co-written works[edit]

  • Henretta, James A.; Brody, David; and Dumenil, Lynn. America: A Concise History. Volume 2: Since 1865. 5th ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005. ISBN 978-0-312-41641-6
  • Henretta, James A.; Brody, David; Dumenil, Lynn; and Ware, Susan. America's History. Volume I: To 1877. 5th ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003. ISBN 978-0-312-40934-0

Important articles[edit]

  • "Labor History, Industrial Relations, and the Crisis of American Labor." Industrial and Labor Relations Review. 43(1989): 8.[1]
  • "The Old Labor History and the New: In Search of an American Working Class." Labor History. 20(1979): 111–26.[2]


  1. ^ Why Become a Historian?
  • Who's Who in America. 58th ed. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who, 2004.

External links[edit]