Ruling America A History of Wealth and Power in a Democracy

ISBN-10: 0674017471

ISBN-13: 9780674017474

Edition: 2005

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Description: Ruling America 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. They explore how elites came into existence, how they established their dominance over public affairs, and how their rule came to an end. The contributors analyze the elite coalition that led the Revolution and then examine the antebellum planters of the South and the merchant patricians of the North. Later chapters vividly portray the Gilded Age "robber barons," the great finance capitalists in the age of J. P. Morgan, and the foreign-policy "Establishment" of the post-World War II years. The book concludes with a dissection of the corporate-led counter-revolution against the New Deal characteristic of the Reagan and Bush era. Rarely in the last half-century has one book afforded such a comprehensive look at the ways elite wealth and power have influenced the American experiment with democracy. At a time when the distribution of wealth and power has never been more unequal, Ruling America is of urgent contemporary relevance.

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Book details

List price: $28.50
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 4/15/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.012
Language: English

Steve Fraser is a writer and historian living in New York.

Gary Gerstle is Professor of History, University of Maryland.

Introduction
The Dilemmas of Ruling Elites in Revolutionary America
The "Slave Power" in the United States, 1783-1865
Merchants and Manufacturers in the Antebellum North
Gilded Age Gospels
The Abortive Rule of Big Money
The Managerial Revitalization of the
The Foreign Policy Establishment
Conservative Elites and the Counterrevolution against the New Deal Michael Lind Coda: Democracy in America
Notes
Acknowledgments
Contributors
Index
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