Known for his groundbreaking research on the history of American labor unions and movements, this University of Massachusetts-Boston professor penned such academic and popular publications as The World of the Worker, Taking History to Heart, and Death in the Haymarket.
After earning his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, he received his doctorate from Yale. Before joining the faculty of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, he taught at Brandeis University and the University of Warwick.
He served as a consultant and associate producer on several labor-related documentary films, including director Barbara Kopple's late 1980s project, Out of Darkness: The Mine Workers' Story.
He was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois. Following their 1988 wedding, he and his wife Janet welcomed a son.
He worked on the 1968 presidential campaign of Minnesota Democrat Eugene McCarthy.