Top of page

About this Item


  • Myself,


  • John Rogers Commons (1862-1945) was an influential economist, reformer, and labor historian. Born in Hollandsburg, Ohio, Commons grew up on the Indiana-Ohio border, where his early work as a printer kindled his interest in labor issues. He attended Oberlin College and went on to study economics at Johns Hopkins, subsequently embarking upon a career of research, public policy development, and teaching. Among his labor history works were the ten-volume Documentary History of American Industrial Society (1910-11) and the three-volume History of Labor in the United States (1918-35). In his autobiography, Commons classifies himself as both a pragmatist and a Progressive. He collaborated closely with Wisconsin's governor and U.S. senator Robert La Follette, Sr., until 1917, when he opposed La Follette's anti-war position. He drafted innovative legislation on issues such as civil service reform, worker's compensation, and utility regulation. He championed improved safety standards and unemployment benefits for workers, believing that financial support for them should come from corporations. He also advocated government mediation among industry, labor, and other competing interest groups. In the 1920s, Commons's legislative initiatives on social welfare and federal economic coordination anticipated New Deal legislation. Commons also exerted long- term influence through his students, many of whom went on to occupy key academic, research, and policy positions. Today, he is remembered chiefly as the founder of modern American labor history.


  • Commons, John R. (John Rogers), 1862-1945.

Created / Published

  • New York, The Macmillan Company, 1934.


  • -  Commons, John R.--(John Rogers),--1862-1945


  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.


  • vii p., 1 l., 201 p. front., ports. 20 cm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • HB119.C58 A4

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 34038714

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the materials in the Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910 materials. The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, General Collections and Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Further copyright information is also available at American Memory and Copyright.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Commons, John R. Myself. New York, The Macmillan Company, 1934. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Commons, J. R. (1934) Myself. New York, The Macmillan Company. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Commons, John R. Myself. New York, The Macmillan Company, 1934. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.