The Myth of Liberal Ascendancy: Corporate Dominance from the Great Depression to the Great Recession

Overview

It is commonly accepted that America saw the rise of liberalism in the wake of the New Deal, especially during the three decades after World War II. Based on new archival research, G. William Domhoff reveals this period instead as one of increasing corporate dominance in government affairs, affecting the fate of American workers up to the present day.

While FDR?s New Deal brought sweeping legislation, the tide turned quickly after 1938. From that year onward nearly every major ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $13.96   
  • New (6) from $18.23   
  • Used (6) from $13.96   
Sending request ...

Overview

It is commonly accepted that America saw the rise of liberalism in the wake of the New Deal, especially during the three decades after World War II. Based on new archival research, G. William Domhoff reveals this period instead as one of increasing corporate dominance in government affairs, affecting the fate of American workers up to the present day.

While FDR’s New Deal brought sweeping legislation, the tide turned quickly after 1938. From that year onward nearly every major new economic law passed by Congress showed the mark of corporate dominance. The influential Committee for Economic Development was a guiding force for presidential administrations and congressional leaders. Domhoff accessibly portrays documents of the Committee’s vital influence in the halls of government, supported by his interviews with several of its key employees and trustees. In terms of economic influence, liberalism was on a long steady decline, despite two decades of post-war growing equality.

Ironically, it was the successes of the civil rights, feminist, environmental, and gay-lesbian movements—not a new corporate mobilization—that led to the final defeat of the liberal-labor alliance after 1968. These cultural successes generated just enough backlash to turn whites toward the Republican Party. It then became possible for the corporate community to solve its emerging economic and political problems through the offshore manufacturing and high interest rates that killed off inflation and the power of unions.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
01/01/2014
Domhoff (psychology & sociology, emeritus, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz) has made a career arguing that the United States is dominated politically and economically by the corporate rich. His first book, Who Rules America? (1967), still in print, set the tone for all his books since. In this new title, Domhoff proceeds, administration by administration, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, to document how the nation's organized business community has consistently thwarted attempts by the "liberal-labor alliance" to change power structures in any significant way. He bases his argument primarily on research in the records of the Committee for Economic Development (CED), a public policy organization founded in 1942. The organization was led by moderate corporate officials often at odds with the "ultraconservative" business wing but sufficiently aligned with them and with Southern Congressmen to ensure the success of shared goals, especially opposition to the labor movement. Through analysis of Congressional votes on relevant issues and close reading of CED policy papers, Domhoff makes a convincing case that business leaders were more influential in the development of public policy during these decades than most other accounts would have it. VERDICT Whether or not they agree with him, historians and political scientists will need to reckon with the reach of Domhoff's argument, the depth of his research, and the controlled passion underlying both.—Robert Nardini, Niagara Falls, NY
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612052564
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/28/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 713,575
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

G. William Domhoff, Professor Emeritus at UC–Santa Cruz, is the author of Who Rules America? (6th edition 2009) and The New CEOs: Women, African American, Latino, and Asian American Leaders of Fortune 500 Companies (2011).
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction The Myth of a Postwar Liberal-Labor Ascendancy
1 Demonstrating Corporate Dominance
2 The Rise and Sudden Decline of the Liberal-Labor Alliance, 1934–1938
3 Leadership for Corporate Moderates, 1939–1945
4 The Postwar Years and the Truman Administration
5 Corporate Moderate Frustrations: The Eisenhower Years
6 Corporate Moderate Successes in the Kennedy Years
7 Corporate Moderation and More Success: The Johnson Years
8 New Sources of Conflict between Corporations and Unions
9 Corporate Policy Success and Economic Failure in the First Nixon Administration
10 The Rise of the Business Roundtable and Tension within the CED, 1973–1976
11 Corporate Triumphs during the Carter Administration
12 The Reagan Culmination, 1981–1984
13 The Road to the Great Recession
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)