I welcome this opportunity to engage with some of the historical puzzles Adam Dean and Jonathan Obert consider in their provocative take on Taft-Hartley and the CIO. What difference did Taft-Hartley make, and to whom? Did the CIO choice to throw in its lot with the Democratic Party make the passage of Taft-Hartley more likely, hasten the decline of moderate Republicanism, and help polarize American politics, as Dean and Obert assert? And what about the stark contrast they draw between the political strategies of the CIO and the AFL? Was the AFL as averse to politics—and as politically ineffectual—as Dean and Obert portray? These are substantive matters, and Dean and Obert are to be commended for tackling them. At the same time, I find myself at odds with many of the generalizations they toss out about labor and politics as they make their way through midcentury US history.

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