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"The sovereign of a commonwealth, be it an assembly, or one man, is not subject to the civil laws.  For having power to make, and repeal laws, he may when he pleaseth, free himself from that subjection, by repealing those laws that trouble him, and making of new; and consequently he was free before."
---John Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651.


Brooklyn Navy Yard
Other Navy Yards

Federal Labor/Civil Service Histories and Analyses

Case Studies in Federal Labor History

a)Brooklyn Navy Yard

The New York Navy Yard Shipworker--The Man Behind the Man Behind the Gun, 1941-1966.  The Yard's in-house newspaper.

New York Naval Shipyard. Souvenir Journal, Sesqui-Centennial Anniversary. Brooklyn: 1951.  Program for the celebration of the Yard's 150th anniversary. Has short historical sections and many pictures.

Tuleja, Thaddeus. "A Short History of the New York Navy Yard," paper. New York Naval Shipyard, 1959.  A short historical manuscript of about 12 pages.

West, James H. A Short History of the New York Navy Yard, typescript monograph. New York Naval Shipyard, 1941.  A lengthy, rather catch-all description of the Yard and its history.  Has a list of ships built to date and one-page biographies, with pictures, of all commandants to date.  The manuscript was ordered written by Commandant C.H. Woodward, who pens a short foreword.

Berner, Thomas F. Images of America: The Brooklyn Navy Yard. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 1999.  A paperback picture book.

"Big and Urgent Business in Brooklyn," Fortune (November 1962): 133-139.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Information Bureau. Illustrated Guide to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 5th ed. Brooklyn: Eagle Book and Job Printing Department, 1901.  Contains a map of the Yard, which had just undergone one of its periodic expansions.

Construction of Dry Dock No. 4, Brooklyn Navy Yard," Engineering News 68 (25 July 1912): 141-148.  The infamous "hoodoo" dock that claimed many lives in its construction.

Hackemer, Kurt. "Patronage and Administrative Structure in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the 1850s," Journal of Political and Military Sociology 22 (1995): 251-270.  Just who did run navy yards in the 19th century?

Institute for Urban Studies [and] Tippetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton. The Brooklyn Navy Yard, A Plan for Redevelopment. New York, 1968.  A survey of the Yard as it stood at the time of its closing in 1966.  Has ideas for its possible future use, such as a park and industrial leasing.

Markoe, Arnold. "New York, N.Y., Navy Yard, 1800-1966," in United States Navy and Marine Corps Bases, Domestic, ed. by Paolo E. Coletta; assoc ed. K. Jack Bauer. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985: 359-373. Short and concise but relies heavily in parts on other works without crediting its sources. (Compare with the Souvenir Journal and the Bureau of Ships article.)

"New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn." Scientific American (3 March 1900): 138.

Palisi, Joseph, Hon. "The Brooklyn Navy Yard," in Brooklyn USA: The Fourth Largest City in America, ed. by Rita Seiden Miller. New York: Brooklyn College Press, 1979.  Very short compilation.

"1637, 1801, 1966, A Final Tribute: New York Naval Shipyard," All Hands  (December 1966): 56-61.  The end of the line.

Sparr, Arnold. "Looking for Rosie: Women Defense Workers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1942-1946." New York History (July 2000): 313-340.  Brooklyn had the lowest percentage of women war workers of any navy yard.

"The Colossus of Brooklyn," Popular Mechanics (September 1945): 18-24.

"Twin Drydocks Constructed Under Water," Engineering News Record (19 November 1942): 66-73.  Describes the then-new tremie method of constructing dry docks under water.

U.S. Bureau of Ships. "A Record of Progressive Achievement in Shipbuilding Since 1801," Bureau of Ships Journal (April 1954): 22-26.

Zaner, Theodore. "Did the Right to Bargain Collectively Precipitate the Closure of the Brooklyn Navy Yard?" Personnel Administration (July-August 1967): 42-45.
T.Z. was the last director of personnel in the Yard; basically an anti-union screed.

Carlson, Lynda Tepfer. "The Closing of the Brooklyn Navy Yard: A Case Study in Group Politics," Ph.D. diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1974.  It was the most expensive of navy yards and faced stiff competition from southern private shipyards.  Also, it helps not to be drunk when you visit your Congressmen.

Brooklyn Historical Society.  "Miscellaneous Interviews prior to Shellens Gallery Installation: Series 1: Interviews with people associated with Navy Yard."
A set of 16 edited transcripts of oral interviews, telephone interviews, and researcher's notes of conversations conducted between 31 July 1987 and 20 January 1988, as a prelude to establishing an alcove exhibit on the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Court Cases:
In essence, the federal government argues successfully that it was not liable for asbestos-related illnesses caused from working in the navy yard, forcing plaintiffs to sue private manufactures of asbestos-containing material instead.

In re Joint Eastern and Southern District Asbestos. Brooklyn Naval ShipYard Asbestos Litigation. Files. Southern District Courthouse, Brooklyn, New York, 1992.

In re Brooklyn Navy Yard Asbestos Litigation (Joint Eastern and Southern District Asbestos Litigation) No. 1197. Fd 831 (2nd Cir. 1992)

Johns-Manville Corporation et al., Plaintiffs, v. The United States, Defendent. No. 465-83C. 13 Cl. Ct. 72.

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b)Bibliography of other navy yards

Boston (Charleston, MA):

Black, Frederick R. Charlestown Navy Yard, 1890-1973. 2 vols. Boston: Boston National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 1988.

Mansfield, George O.Q. Boston Naval Shipyard: Historical Review, 1938-1957. Boston: Boston Naval Shipyard, 1957.

Portsmouth (Kittery, ME):

Boyd, Captain, compiler. "Portsmouth Naval Shipyard History, 1878-1929, Kittery, Maine." Typescript manuscript, 1929(?).

Norfolk (Portsmouth, VA):

Butt, Marshall. Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia: A Brief History. Porstmouth, VA: Public Information Office, 1951.

Upham-Bornstein, Linda.  "'Men of Families': The Intersection of Labor Conflict and Race in the Norfolk Dry Dock Affair, 1829-1831."  Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas.  4 (Spring 2007): 65-97.


Dorwart, Jeffery M., with Jean K. Wolf. The Philadelphia Navy Yard: From the Birth of the U.S. Navy to the Nuclear Age. Philadelphia: U. of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.

Mare Island (Vallejo, CA):

Lemmon, Sue, and E.D. Wichels. Sidewheelers to Nuclear Power: A Pictorial Essay Covering 123 Years at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Annapolis: Leeward Publishing, Inc., 1977.

Lott, Arnold S., Commander. A Long Line of Ships: Mare Island's Century of Naval Activity in California. Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1954.


Pearce, George F. The U.S. Navy in Pensacola: From Sailing Ships to Naval Aviation, 1825-1930. Pensacola: University Presses of Florida, 1980.

Washington, DC:

Hibben, Henry B.  Navy-Yard, Washington.  Washington: GPO, 1890.

Marolda, Edward J.  Washington Navy Yard: An Illustrated History.  Washington: Naval Historical Center, 1999.

Peck, Taylor. Roundshot to Rockets: A History of the Washington Navy Yard and U.S. Naval Gun Factory. Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1949.

Sharp, John G.  History of the Washington Navy Yard Civilian Workforce, 1799-1962.  Stockton, CA: Vindolanda Press, 2005.

Puget Sound (Bremerton, WA):

Reh, Louise. Fifty Dollars an Acre: A History of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, 1891-1916. Bremerton, WA: Red Deer Press, 1983.

-----------. Fair Winds of Change: A History of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, 1916-1941. Bremerton, WA: Red Deer Press, 1984.

Reh, Louise M., and Helen Lou Ross, NIPSIC to NIMITZ: A Centennial History of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Bremerton, WA: Federally Employed Women, Inc., 1991.

Pearl Harbor
Downes, Lawrence.  "How a War Was Won and a City Vanished at Pearl Harbor."  New York Times.  7 December 2006.  http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/07/opinion/07thu4.html?_r=1&ref=opinionspecial&oref=slogin
Short Op-Ed piece on conversion of several sunk and heavily damaged warships after 12/7/41.  Has links to longer articles not published due to wartime censorship.

Navy Department and Navy Yards:

Albion, Robert G.  "A Brief History of Civilian Personnel in the U.S. Navy Department."  Navy Department, October 1943.  A pamphlet by the then-Recorder of Naval Administration, who went on to become a noted maritime historian.  It existed only in manuscript form at the Naval library until the Library recently put it on-line at http://www.history.navy.mil/library/special/civilian_personnel.htm.

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c) Federal Labor/Civil Service Histories and Analyses

Anderson, Howard J., John J. Kenny. Primer of Labor Relations, 22nd ed. Washington: Bureau of National Affairs, 1983 (first published, 1947).

Claussen, Cathryn L. “Gendered Merit: Women and the Merit Concept in Federal Employment, 1864-1944.” The American Journal of Legal History.  40 (July 1996): 229-252.

Freeman, Richard, Casey Ichinowski, eds., When Public Sector Workers Unionize. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

Fowler, Robert Booth. “Normative Aspects of Public Employee Strikes.” Public Personnel Management 3 (March/April 1974): 129-137.

Hanslowe, Kurt L. The Emerging Law of Labor Relations in Public Employment. Ithaca: ILR Press, 1967.

Horowitz, Morris A. Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector. New York: Lexington Books, 1994.

Imundo, Louis V. “Strikes and the Strike Issue in Federal Government Labor-Management Relation.” Personnel Journal 52 (May 1973): 381-386.

Ingraham, Patricia W. The Foundation of Merit: Public Service in American Democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1995.

Johnson, Ronald N. and Gary D. Libecap. The Federal Civil Service and the Problem of Bureaucracy: The Economics and Politics of Institutional Change. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Levine, Marvin J., Eugene C. Hapsburg. Public Sector Labor Relations. St. Paul: West Publishing Co., 1979.

Levitan, Sar A., Alexander B. Noden. Working for the Sovereign: Employee Relations in the Federal Government. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.

McCartin, Joseph A.  "Bringing the State's Workers in: Time to Rectify an Imbalanced U.S. Labor Historiography."  Labor History.  47(February 2006): 73-94.*

Mosher, Frederick, ed. Basic Documents of American Public Administration, 1776-1950. New York : Holmes & Meier, 1976.

Nesbitt, Murray B. Labor Relations in the Federal Government Sector. Washington: Bureau of National Affairs, 1976.

Nigro, Felix A. “Public Personnel Administration: From Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan,” International Journal of Public Administration 6 (1984): 1-54.

-----------------. Symposium editor. “Collective Negotiations in the Public Service.”  Public Administration Review 28 (March/April 1968): 111-147.

Okun, Arthur M. Equality and Efficiency, The Big Tradeoff. Washington: Brooklings Institute, 1975.

Ross, Anne M. “Public Employee Unions and the Right to Strike.” Monthly Labor Review 92 (March 1969): 14-18.

Rung, Margaret C.  Servants of the State: Managing Diversity and Democracy in the Federal Workforce, 1933-1953.  Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press,  2002.

Schinagl, Mary S. History of Efficiency Ratings in the Federal Government. New York: Bookman Associates, 1966.

Schneider, B.V.H. “Collective Bargaining and the Federal Civil Service.” Industrial Relations 3 (May 1964): 97-120.

Slater, Joseph E. Public Workers: Government Employee Unions, the Law, and the State, 1900-1962. Ithaca: Cornell Univ Press; February 2004.

Spero, Sterling. Government as Employer. New York: Remsen Press, 1948, reprinted 1971.

Stahl, O. Glenn. Public Personnel Administration, 5th ed., New York: Harper and Row, 1962.

Sterret, Grace, and Antoine Aboud. The Right to Strike in Public Employment. 2nd ed., rev. Ithaca: ILR Press, 1982.

Stillman, Richard J., ed. Basic Documents of American Public Administration Since 1950. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1982.

Troy, Leo. The New Unionism in the New Society: Public Sector Unions in the Redistributive State. Fairfax, Va.: George Mason University Press, 1994.

Van Riper, Paul P. History of the United States Civil Service. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson and Company, 1958.

Waldo, Dwight. The Administrative State: A Study of the Political Theory of American Public Administration. New York: The Ronald Press Co., 1948.

White, Leonard D., ed. Civil Service in Wartime. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1945.

Ziskind, David. One Thousand Strikes of Government Employees. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.

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d) Case Studies in Federal Labor History

Aitken, Hugh G. J. Taylorism at Watertown Arsenal: Scientific Management in Action, 1908-1915. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960.

Aron, Cindy Sondik. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Civil Service: Middle-Class Workers in Victorian America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Baxter, Vern K. Labor and Politics in the U.S. Postal Service. New York: Plenum Press, 1994.

Farley, James J. Making Arms in Machine Age: Philadelphia's Frankford Arsenal, 1816-1870. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994.

Smith, Merritt Rose. Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology: The Challenge of Change. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977.

Spero, Sterling. The Labor Movement in a Government Industry: A Study of Employee Organization in the Postal Service. New York: George H. Doran Co., 1924.

Walsh, John, and Garth Mangum. Labor Struggle in the Post Office: From Selective Lobbying to Collective Bargaining. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1992.

e)  Other

Novak, William J.  "The Myth of the 'Weak' American State."  American Historical Review.  113 (June 2008):  752-772.

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compiled by J Stobo; original material © April 2004; Additions: May 2005; June 2005; March 2006*