THE DICHOTOMY IN
POSTWAR AMERICAN POLITICS
THE TAFT-HARTLEY ACT of 1947 aroused as much controversy and political contention as any domestic policy formulated by Congress in the decade after World War II. This legislation was conceived in a period of particularly bitter labor-management strife arising from the struggle to convert from a wartime to a peacetime economy. As Harry S. Truman declared, this labor unrest presented his administration with "one of the most difficult and persistent of all the domestic problems" he encountered as President.1 And for several years after its passage, politicians as well as labor and management were stimulated to zealous denunciation or praise at the very mention of the Taft-Hartley Act in their appeals for public support.
In the ensuing controversy over this law, which altered the basic labor policy of the United States, it soon became familiar to every American, at least by name although not