Dr. David Witwer
Dr. David Witwer
Image: Penn State

Dr. Witwer to present on labor racketeering

Dr. David Witwer, Penn State Harrisburg associate professor of American studies and history and winner of the college’s 2013 Award for Research and Scholarly Activity, will present “Racketeering the Racketeers: The Reality and Politics Behind the Menace of Labor Racketeering in the 1950s” on Wednesday, April 17 at noon in the Olmsted Building Gallery Lounge.

Held in conjunction with Penn State Harrisburg Research Week, the event is free and open to the public.

A leading scholar on the history of union corruption, Witwer’s research explores how corruption was treated by the media and the use made of its notoriety to discredit the labor movement in the United States. Witwer has authored two books on the topic, Corruption and Reform in the Teamsters Union (University of Illinois Press, 2008) and Shadow of the Racketeer: Scandal in Organized Labor (University of Illinois Press, 2009).

“Not only is his research significant in amount and impact, but it is beautifully written and was pursued in the face of public pressure to conceal some material from the public eye, requiring courage and persistence,” said one research award nominator. “His work brings together the history of the modern labor movement in the United States, the history of journalism, the history of modern politics, and the history of organized crime… a very skilled feat…”

Witwer also serves on the editorial board of the journal Labor History and has published articles in journals including International Labor and Working Class History, Journal of American History, Journal of Social History, Journalism History, and Trends in Organized Crime, Criminal Justice Review.

This seminar will be available on Adobe Connect.