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Present at the Creation: Clyde W. Summers and the Field of Union Democracy Law

32 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2010  

Michael J. Goldberg

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: September 10, 2010


This article describes and analyzes the contributions of Professor Clyde W. Summers to the development of union democracy law in the United States and his contributions to the movement dedicated to bringing more democratic practices to American unions. The first part of the article evaluates Summers' writings on the importance of democracy in the labor movement. The second part describes Summers' work as both a scholar and public policy activist shaping the law of union democracy, including his critical role in the drafting of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. The final part of the article examines Summers contributions to the creation of a movement, embodied in the Association for Union Democracy, to promote democratic unionism. It also describes his continuing efforts, through his scholarship and his advocacy, to implement and further develop the field of law he helped to create.

Keywords: union democracy, labor law, legal history, clyde w summers, labor movement

JEL Classification: K31

Suggested Citation

Goldberg, Michael J., Present at the Creation: Clyde W. Summers and the Field of Union Democracy Law (September 10, 2010). Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2010; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-23. Available at SSRN:

Michael J. Goldberg (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States
302-477-2712 (Phone)

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