The autobiography of John R. Commons (1934)


In the second half of this autobiography, Commons looks back on his career as a Progressive policy maker and University of Wisconsin professor. He provides many anecdotes about how key progressive legislation was passed, about the workings of the state Industrial Commission, and about university life. Although best-known today as the founder of labor history, Commons was in fact the archetypical public intellectual. His influence can be seen in nearly all the most important social reforms enacted at the state and national level, from Fighting Bob La Follette's first crusade to Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.

Related Topics: The Progressive Era
The Birth of the Labor Movement
The Career of Robert M. La Follette
Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea
Depression and Unemployment
Creator: Commons, John Rogers, 1862-1945.
Pub Data: New York, The Macmillan company, 1934.
Citation: Commons, John Rogers. Myself. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1934). Online facsimile at:
R+@band(lhbum+38714)); Visited on: 3/20/2019