SENATOR ROBERT F. WAGNER by J. Joseph Huthmacher


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Hutchmacher is a professor of history at Rutgers and a specialist on the New Deal. This study of the work of Wagner, the ""champion of the urban industrial working class"" was, he says, over ten years in preparation and his painstaking work is clearly evident. In his style Hutchmacher matches the character of his subject: what may be lacking in flair is more than made up for in craftsmanlike attention to detail. In the U.S. Senate Wagner didn't fit into his colleague's stereotype of the Tammany politician. Modest, undramatic, scrupulously honest, and in the public eye, ""a blurred and shadowy figure,"" he was nevertheless the ""Legislative Pilot of the New Deal,"" the father of the National Labor Relations Act, and of numerous bills identified with progressivism of his day. He was, in short, a pragmatic liberal who was willing to accept the criticisms of his more impatient confreres on the left for the sake of getting something done. Hutchmacher's biography is an indulgent one; he finds even an occasional idiosyncratic whim endearing. Still his book should prove valuable to some students and scholars.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1968
Publisher: Atheneum