The Fall of Wisconsin does not focus exclusively on labor, nor is it mostly history. Nonetheless, it should be of great interest to readers of Labor. The title summarizes the book’s theme: how a once-progressive state fell to the forces of conservative reaction, notably, but not exclusively, with the election of governor Scott Walker and the enactment of Wisconsin Act 10, which crippled the state’s public-sector unions. The book has a unique and captivating organization. It addresses related themes—labor, politics, environmental issues, the rise of conservative organizations, and more—through both historical overviews and reports from the present, including numerous interviews of contemporary actors, including politicians and political activists, unionists, Native American leaders, and public employees.

The book does a fine job weaving together the broad and generally successful attack on the “Wisconsin idea.” That idea refers, in part, to Wisconsin’s pioneering role in workplace legislation as the first state...

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