Betsy Wood

Betsy Wood

Betsy Wood has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago with a focus on the 19th-century United States. Her academic research examines how the conflict over slavery shaped the development of American labor, law, politics, and ideas on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line for decades after the Civil War. Her work seeks to explain how a deep and abiding antagonism between North and South, rooted in the slavery conflict, shaped the development of American political and ideological divisions in the modern industrial era. Wood's book, "Upon the Altar of Work: Child Labor & the Rise of a New American Sectionalism," (University of Illinois Press; September 2020) is based on her 2011 dissertation, which won the Herbert G. Gutman Prize for Best Dissertation in U.S. Labor History.


States are weakening child labor laws, 8 decades after the feds took kids out of the workforce

By: and - September 4, 2023

With so many states seeking weaker child labor protections, a federal-state showdown over the question of whether young people in the United States belong in the workforce is inevitable.