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Power Elite

ISBN-10: 0195133544
ISBN-13: 9780195133547
Edition: 2nd 1999
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Description: First published in 1956, The Power Elite stands as a contemporary classic of social science and social criticism. C. Wright Mills examines and critiques the organization of power in the United States, calling attention to three firmly interlocked  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/17/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 448
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

First published in 1956, The Power Elite stands as a contemporary classic of social science and social criticism. C. Wright Mills examines and critiques the organization of power in the United States, calling attention to three firmly interlocked prongs of power: the military, corporate, and political elite. The Power Elite can be read as a good account of what was taking place in America at the time it was written, but its underlying question of whether America is as democratic in practice as it is in theory continues to matter very much today. What The Power Elite informed readers of in 1956 was how much the organization of power in America had changed during their lifetimes, and Alan Wolfe's astute afterword to this new edition brings us up to date, illustrating how much more has changed since then. Wolfe sorts out what is helpful in Mills' book and which of his predictions have not come to bear, laying out the radical changes in American capitalism, from intense global competition and the collapse of communism to rapid technological transformations and ever changing consumer tastes. The Power Elite has stimulated generations of readers to think about the kind of society they have and the kind of society they might want, and deserves to be read by every new generation.

C. Wright Mills, an American sociologist, was one of the most controversial social scientists of the mid-twentieth century. He considered himself a rebel against both the academic establishment and American society in general, and he rarely tried to separate his radical ideas from his teaching and writing. Irving Louis Horowitz summarized much of Mills's ideas in the subtitle of his biography of him: An American Utopian. Mill's most traditional sociological study is The Puerto Rican Journey. His most direct attack on his colleagues in sociology is The Sociological Imagination (1959) (which he found left much to be desired). His most ideological work is The Power Elite (1956), an attempt to explain the overall power structure of the United States. Mills thought that the dominant "value-free" methodology of American sociology was an ideological mask, hiding values that he did not share. According to his younger colleague Immanuel Wallerstein, Mills was essentially a utopian reformer who thought that knowledge properly used could bring about a better society.

Alan Wolfe is the director of the Boisi Center for Religion & American Public Life at Boston College, & author of the best-selling "One Nation After All".

The Higher Circles
Local Society
Metropolitan 400
The Celebrities
The Very Rich
The Chief Executives
The Corporate Rich
The Warlords
The Military Ascendancy
The Political Directorate
The Theory of Balance
The Power Elite
The Mass Society
The Conservative Mood
The Higher Immorality
Afterword
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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