The Age of Acquiescence

The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316333743

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 9088

A groundbreaking investigation of how and why, from the 18th century to the present day, American resistance to our ruling elites has vanished. From the American Revolution through the Civil Rights movement, Americans have long mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. Hierarchies based on inheritance, wealth, and political preferment were treated as obnoxious and a threat to democracy. Mass movements envisioned a new world supplanting dog-eat-dog capitalism. But over the last half-century that political will and cultural imagination have vanished. Why? THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE seeks to solve that mystery. Steve Fraser's account of national transformation brilliantly examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts to protect the democratic commonwealth, and the great surrender to today's delusional fables of freedom and the politics of fear. Effervescent and razorsharp, THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE will be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.

The Age of Acquiescence

The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780465097791

Category: History

Page: 488

View: 567

From the Revolution through the Civil Rights Movement, Americans mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. But over the last half-century that political will has vanished. In The Age of Acquiescence, Steve Fraser explains why. His account of national transformation brilliantly examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts to protect the democratic commonwealth, and the great surrender to today’s delusional fables of freedom and the politics of fear. Effervescent and razorsharp, The Age of Acquiescence is indispensable for understanding why we no longer fight for a more just society, and how we can revive the great American tradition of resistance in our own time.

The Age of Acquiescence

The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0316333743

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 3363

A groundbreaking investigation of how and why, from the 18th century to the present day, American resistance to our ruling elites has vanished. From the American Revolution through the Civil Rights movement, Americans have long mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. Hierarchies based on inheritance, wealth, and political preferment were treated as obnoxious and a threat to democracy. Mass movements envisioned a new world supplanting dog-eat-dog capitalism. But over the last half-century that political will and cultural imagination have vanished. Why? THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE seeks to solve that mystery. Steve Fraser's account of national transformation brilliantly examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts to protect the democratic commonwealth, and the great surrender to today's delusional fables of freedom and the politics of fear. Effervescent and razorsharp, THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE will be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.

Class Matters

The Strange Career of an American Delusion

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300221509

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 2871

A uniquely personal yet deeply informed exploration of the hidden history of class in American life From the decks of the Mayflower straight through to Donald Trump's "American carnage," class has always played a role in American life. In this remarkable work, Steve Fraser twines our nation's past with his own family's history, deftly illustrating how class matters precisely because Americans work so hard to pretend it doesn't. He examines six signposts of American history--the settlements at Plymouth and Jamestown; the ratification of the Constitution; the Statue of Liberty; the cowboy; the "kitchen debate" between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev; and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech--to explore just how pervasively class has shaped our national conversation. With a historian's intellectual command and a riveting narrative voice, Fraser interweaves these examples with his own past--including his false arrest on charges of planning to blow up the Liberty Bell during the Civil Rights era--to tell a story both urgent and timeless.

Ruling America

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Author: Gary Gerstle

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674037197

Category: Political Science

Page: 380

View: 1584

This book offers a panoramic history of our country's ruling elites from the time of the American Revolution to the present. At its heart is the greatest of American paradoxes: How have tiny minorities of the rich and privileged consistently exercised so much power in a nation built on the notion of rule by the people? In a series of thought-provoking essays, leading scholars of American history examine every epoch in which ruling economic elites have shaped our national experience.

Wall Street

America's Dream Palace

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 030014508X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 209

View: 9151

Wall Street: no other place on earth is so singularly identified with money and the power of money. And no other American institution has inspired such deep moral, cultural, and political ambivalence. Is the Street an unbreachable bulwark defending commercial order? Or is it a center of mad ambition? This book recounts the colorful history of Americas love-hate relationship with Wall Street. Steve Fraser frames his fascinating analysis around the roles of four iconic Wall Street typesthe aristocrat, the confidence man, the hero, and the immoralistall recurring figures who yield surprising insights about how the nation has wrestled, and still wrestles, with fundamental questions of wealth and work, democracy and elitism, greed and salvation. Spanning the years from the first Wall Street panic of 1792 to the dot.com bubble-and-bust and Enron scandals of our own time, the book is full of stories and portraits of such larger-than-life figures as J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Michael Milken. Fraser considers the conflicting attitudes of ordinary Americans toward the Street and concludes with a brief rumination on the recent notion of Wall Street as a haven for Everyman.

Labor Will Rule

Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 688

View: 6017

Reprint of the Free Press book originally published in 1991 (and warmly received by PW-4/12/91, LJ-4/12/91, and Kirkus 4/15/91). Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

The Limousine Liberal

How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465097669

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 4555

No political metaphor in recent American history has enjoyed the impact of the limousine liberal. Taking aim at what many consider the hypocrisy of wealthy liberals who champion the cause of the poor but who have no intention of bearing the costs of doing anything about their plight, it has mobilized an enduring politics of resentment against everything from civil rights to environmental regulation. In The Limousine Liberal, Steve Fraser argues that the metaphor of the limousine liberal has had a pernicious effect on American political culture. From Henry FordÕs attacks on Jews, bankers, and Bolsheviks in the 1920s to the Tea PartyÕs vehement hatred of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, it has served as the animus binding together right-wing populism in America. In the vein of the late Richard Hofstadter, Fraser dives down below the surface of rational political life to identify and understand the rightÕs most elemental fears.

The Long Gilded Age

American Capitalism and the Lessons of a New World Order

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Author: Leon Fink

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812292030

Category: History

Page: 216

View: 1114

From the end of the nineteenth century through the first decades of the twentieth, the United States experienced unprecedented structural change. Advances in communication and manufacturing technology brought about a revolution for major industries such as railroads, coal, and steel. The still-growing nation established economic, political, and cultural entanglements with forces overseas. Local strikes in manufacturing, urban transit, and construction placed labor issues front and center in political campaigns, legislative corridors, church pulpits, and newspapers of the era. The Long Gilded Age considers the interlocking roles of politics, labor, and internationalism in the ideologies and institutions that emerged at the turn of the twentieth century. Presenting a new twist on central themes of American labor and working-class history, Leon Fink examines how the American conceptualization of free labor played out in iconic industrial strikes, and how "freedom" in the workplace became overwhelmingly tilted toward individual property rights at the expense of larger community standards. He investigates the legal and intellectual centers of progressive thought, situating American policy actions within an international context. In particular, he traces the development of American socialism, which appealed to a young generation by virtue of its very un-American roots and influences. The Long Gilded Age offers both a transnational and comparative look at a formative era in American political development, placing this tumultuous period within a worldwide confrontation between the capitalist marketplace and social transformation.

Every Man a Speculator

A History of Wall Street in American Life

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Author: Steve Fraser

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061873365

Category: History

Page: 768

View: 1728

Americans have experienced a love-hate relationship with Wall Street for two hundred years. Long an object of suspicion, fear, and even revulsion, the Street eventually came to be seen as an alluring pathway to wealth and freedom. Steve Fraser tells the story of this remarkable transformation in a brilliant, masterfully written narrative filled with colorful tales of confidence men and aristocrats, Napoleonic financiers and reckless adventurers, master builders and roguish destroyers. Penetrating and engrossing, this is an extraordinary work of history that illuminates the values and the character of our nation.

Separate and Unequal

The Kerner Commission and the Unraveling of American Liberalism

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Author: Steven M. Gillon

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465096093

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 5654

The definitive history of the Kerner Commission, whose report on urban unrest reshaped American debates about race and inequality In Separate and Unequal, historian Steven M. Gillon offers a revelatory new history of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders--popularly known as the Kerner Commission. Convened by President Lyndon Johnson after riots in Newark and Detroit left dozens dead and thousands injured, the commission issued a report in 1968 that attributed the unrest to "white racism" and called for aggressive new programs to end discrimination and poverty. "Our nation is moving toward two societies," it warned, "one black, and one white--separate and unequal." Johnson refused to accept the Kerner Report, and as his political coalition unraveled, its proposals went nowhere. For the right, the report became a symbol of liberal excess, and for the left, one of opportunities lost. Separate and Unequal is essential for anyone seeking to understand the fraught politics of race in America.

Hinterland

America’s New Landscape of Class and Conflict

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Author: Phil A. Neel

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780239459

Category: Travel

Page: 192

View: 9040

Over the last forty years, the human landscape of the United States has been fundamentally transformed. The metamorphosis is partially visible in the ascendance of glittering, coastal hubs for finance, infotech, and the so-called creative class. But this is only the tip of an economic iceberg, the bulk of which lies in the darkness of the declining heartland or on the dimly lit fringe of sprawling cities. This is America’s hinterland, populated by towering grain threshers and hunched farmworkers, where laborers drawn from every corner of the world crowd into factories and “fulfillment centers” and where cold storage trailers are filled with fentanyl-bloated corpses when the morgues cannot contain the dead. Urgent and unsparing, this book opens our eyes to America’s new heart of darkness. Driven by an ever-expanding socioeconomic crisis, America’s class structure is recomposing itself in new geographies of race, poverty, and production. The center has fallen. Riots ricochet from city to city led by no one in particular. Anarchists smash financial centers as a resurgent far right builds power in the countryside. Drawing on his direct experience of recent popular unrest, from the Occupy movement to the wave of riots and blockades that began in Ferguson, Missouri, Phil A. Neel provides a close-up view of this landscape in all its grim but captivating detail. Inaugurating the new Field Notes series, published in association with the Brooklyn Rail, Neel’s book tells the intimate story of a life lived within America’s hinterland.

Fixing the System

A History of Populism, Ancient and Modern

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Author: Adrian Kuzminski

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441166653

Category: Political Science

Page: 232

View: 2191

In the current climate of dissatisfaction with "democratic" Western political and economic systems, this is a timely book that demonstrates a true political Third Way. Populism is distinguished from other political movements by its insistence on two things conspicuously missing from modern systems of political economy: genuine democracy based on local citizen assemblies, and the widespread distribution among the population of privately-owned economic capital. Fixing the System offers a comprehensive historical account of populism, revealing the consistent and distinct history of populism since ancient times. Adrian Kuzminski demonstrates that populism is a tradition of practice as well as thought, ranging from ancient city states to the frontier communities of colonial america-all places where widely distributed private property and democratic decision-making combined to foster material prosperity and cultural innovation. In calling for a wide distribution of both property and democracy, populism opposes the political and economic system found today in the united states and other Western countries, where property remains highly concentrated in private hands and where representatives chosen in impersonal mass elections frustrate democracy by serving private monied interests rather than the public good. As Kuzminski demonstrates, as one of very few systematic alternatives to today's political and economic system, populism, offers a pragmatic program for fundamental social change that deserves wide and serious consideration. Populism is a genuine "third way" in politics, a middle path between the extremes of corporate anarchy and collective authoritarianism. As America takes stock of her current situation and looks toward the future in the 2008 election year, Fixing the System offers a trenchant and timely study of this deep-rooted movement.

Blood Brothers

The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X

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Author: Randy Roberts,Johnny Smith

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 046509323X

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 1065

In 1962, boxing writers and fans considered Cassius Clay an obnoxious self-promoter, and few believed that he would become the heavyweight champion of the world. But Malcolm X, the most famous minister in the Nation of Islam—a sect many white Americans deemed a hate cult—saw the potential in Clay, not just for boxing greatness, but as a means of spreading the Nation's message. The two became fast friends, keeping their interactions secret from the press for fear of jeopardizing Clay's career. Clay began living a double life—a patriotic “good Negro” in public, and a radical reformer behind the scenes. Soon, however, their friendship would sour, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences. Based on previously untapped sources, from Malcolm's personal papers to FBI records, Blood Brothers is the first book to offer an in-depth portrait of this complex bond. Acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith reconstruct the worlds that shaped Malcolm and Clay, from the boxing arenas and mosques, to postwar New York and civil rights–era Miami. In an impressively detailed account, they reveal how Malcolm molded Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, helping him become an international symbol of black pride and black independence. Yet when Malcolm was barred from the Nation for criticizing the philandering of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, Ali turned his back on Malcolm—a choice that tragically contributed to the latter's assassination in February 1965. Malcolm's death marked the end of a critical phase of the civil rights movement, but the legacy of his friendship with Ali has endured. We inhabit a new era where the roles of entertainer and activist, of sports and politics, are more entwined than ever before. Blood Brothers is the story of how Ali redefined what it means to be a black athlete in America—after Malcolm first enlightened him. An extraordinary narrative of love and deep affection, as well as deceit, betrayal, and violence, this story is a window into the public and private lives of two of our greatest national icons, and the tumultuous period in American history that they helped to shape.

Cut Adrift

Families in Insecure Times

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Author: Marianne Cooper

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520958454

Category: Social Science

Page: 313

View: 9587

Cut Adrift makes an important and original contribution to the national conversation about inequality and risk in American society. Set against the backdrop of rising economic insecurity and rolled-up safety nets, Marianne Cooper’s probing analysis explores what keeps Americans up at night. Through poignant case studies, she reveals what families are concerned about, how they manage their anxiety, whose job it is to worry, and how social class shapes all of these dynamics, including what is even worth worrying about in the first place. This powerful study is packed with intriguing discoveries ranging from the surprising anxieties of the rich to the critical role of women in keeping struggling families afloat. Through tales of stalwart stoicism, heart-wrenching worry, marital angst, and religious conviction, Cut Adrift deepens our understanding of how families are coping in a go-it-alone age—and how the different strategies on which affluent, middle-class, and poor families rely upon not only reflect inequality, but fuel it.

Temptation

Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess

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Author: Daniel Akst

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101559306

Category: Self-Help

Page: 320

View: 4825

" This elegantly written and useful book . . . describes how, for millennia, human beings have struggled to rein in desire." -USA Today At a time when the fallout from reckless spending and unrestrained consumption is fueling a national malaise, Daniel Akst delivers a witty and comprehensive investigation of the central problem of our time: how to save ourselves from what we want. Temptation reminds us that while more calories, sex, and intoxicants are readily available than ever before, crucial social constraints have eroded, creating a world that sorely tests the limits of human willpower. Referencing history, literature, psychology, philosophy, and economics, Akst draws a vivid picture of the many-sided problem of desire-and delivers a blueprint for how we can steer shrewdly away from a campaign of self-destruction.

The Energy of Slaves

Oil and the New Servitude

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Author: Andrew Nikiforuk

Publisher: Greystone Books

ISBN: 1553659791

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 8142

By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.

After the Sheikhs

The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies

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Author: Christopher Davidson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019024450X

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 3924

The Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia and its five smaller neighbours: the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain) have long been governed by highly autocratic and seemingly anachronistic regimes. Yet despite bloody conflicts on their doorsteps, fast-growing populations, and powerful modernising and globalising forces impacting on their largely conservative societies, they have demonstrated remarkable resilience. Obituaries for these traditional monarchies have frequently been penned, but even now these absolutist, almost medieval, entities still appear to pose the same conundrum as before: in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring and the fall of incumbent presidents in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, the apparently steadfast Gulf monarchies have, at first glance, re-affirmed their status as the Middle East s only real bastions of stability. In this book, however, noted Gulf expert Christopher Davidson contends that the collapse of these kings, emirs, and sultans is going to happen, and was always going to. While the revolutionary movements in North Africa, Syria, and Yemen will undeniably serve as important, if indirect, catalysts for the coming upheaval, many of the same socio-economic pressures that were building up in the Arab republics are now also very much present in the Gulf monarchies. It is now no longer a matter of if but when the West s steadfast allies fall. This is a bold claim to make but Davidson, who accurately forecast the economic turmoil that afflicted Dubai in 2009, has an enviable record in diagnosing social and political changes afoot in the region.

A Girl Stands at the Door

The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America's Schools

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Author: Rachel Devlin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 1541616650

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 6522

A new history of school desegregation in America, revealing how girls and women led the fight for interracial education The struggle to desegregate America's schools was a grassroots movement, and young women were its vanguard. In the late 1940s, parents began to file desegregation lawsuits with their daughters, forcing Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights lawyers to take up the issue and bring it to the Supreme Court. After the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, girls far outnumbered boys in volunteering to desegregate formerly all-white schools. In A Girl Stands at the Door, historian Rachel Devlin tells the remarkable stories of these desegregation pioneers. She also explains why black girls were seen, and saw themselves, as responsible for the difficult work of reaching across the color line in public schools. Highlighting the extraordinary bravery of young black women, this bold revisionist account illuminates today's ongoing struggles for equality.

The Last Great Strike

Little Steel, the CIO, and the Struggle for Labor Rights in New Deal America

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Author: Ahmed White

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520285611

Category: History

Page: 398

View: 9166

In May 1937, seventy thousand workers walked off their jobs at four large steel companies known collectively as “Little Steel.” The strikers sought to make the companies retreat from decades of antiunion repression, abide by the newly enacted federal labor law, and recognize their union. For two months a grinding struggle unfolded, punctuated by bloody clashes in which police, company agents, and National Guardsmen ruthlessly beat and shot unionists. At least sixteen died and hundreds more were injured before the strike ended in failure. The violence and brutality of the Little Steel Strike became legendary. In many ways it was the last great strike in modern America. Traditionally the Little Steel Strike has been understood as a modest setback for steel workers, one that actually confirmed the potency of New Deal reforms and did little to impede the progress of the labor movement. However, The Last Great Strike tells a different story about the conflict and its significance for unions and labor rights. More than any other strike, it laid bare the contradictions of the industrial labor movement, the resilience of corporate power, and the limits of New Deal liberalism at a crucial time in American history.