Empire in Wood
A History of the Carpenters' Union
First published in 1956, Empire in Wood is the definitive history of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, from its predecessors, the carpenters' trade unions established at the turn of the nineteenth century, to the immediate post-World War II period, when it boasted a membership of 722,000 and was unrivaled among the craft unions in its size and influence.
Robert A. Christie traces the emergence and development of carpenters' trade unions from the earliest known organization, formed in Philadelphia in 1791, through the founding of local and then state-wide craft unions throughout the nineteenth century, to the creation of the national organization in 1881. He then details the campaigns, internal struggles, organizational shifts, and challenges—technological, legal, political, and ideological—faced by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America over the next seventy-five years.