Selling Free Enterprise

The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60

Selling Free Enterprise

The post-World War II years in the United States were marked by the business community's efforts to discredit New Deal liberalism and undermine the power and legitimacy of organized labor. In Selling Free Enterprise, Elizabeth Fones-Wolf describes how conservative business leaders strove to reorient workers away from their loyalties to organized labor and government, teaching that prosperity could be achieved through reliance on individual initiative, increased productivity, and the protection of personal liberty. Based on research in a wide variety of business and labor sources, this detailed account shows how business permeated every aspect of American life, including factories, schools, churches, and community institutions.

Free Enterprise

An American History

Free Enterprise

An incisive look at the intellectual and cultural history of free enterprise and its influence on American politics Throughout the twentieth century, “free enterprise” has been a contested keyword in American politics, and the cornerstone of a conservative philosophy that seeks to limit government involvement into economic matters. Lawrence B. Glickman shows how the idea first gained traction in American discourse and was championed by opponents of the New Deal. Those politicians, believing free enterprise to be a fundamental American value, held it up as an antidote to a liberalism that they maintained would lead toward totalitarian statism. Tracing the use of the concept of free enterprise, Glickman shows how it has both constrained and transformed political dialogue. He presents a fascinating look into the complex history, and marketing, of an idea that forms the linchpin of the contemporary opposition to government regulation, taxation, and programs such as Medicare.

Free Market Missionaries

The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values

Free Market Missionaries

In her recent book Suiting Themselves, bestselling author Sharon Beder exposed how the global corporate elite have brazenly rewritten the rules of the global economy to line their pockets. In this new book she trains her sights on the insidious underbelly of this global trend to show how they have also orchestrated a mass propaganda campaign to manipulate community values and convince us that their interest - co-opting and controlling all of us in the name of the free market - is in our interest. During the 20th century, business associations coordinated mass propaganda campaigns combining 20th century American PR methods with revitalized free market ideology from 18th century Europe. The aim was to persuade people to eschew their own power as workers and citizens, and forego their democratic power to restrain and regulate business activity. Sophisticated corporate-funded think tanks augmented these campaigns in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting free enterprise and business-friendly policies. These free market missionaries now seek to change individual and institutional values through bolder strategies such as expanding share ownership and manipulating wider public concerns. In each case the goal is the same: the triumph of business values over community values. Beders is an intellectual call to arms: challenge the ideology of the free market missionaries or be converted to it.

The Citizen Machine

Governing by Television in 1950s America

The Citizen Machine

The Citizen Machine is the untold political history of television’s formative era. Historian Anna McCarthy goes behind the scenes of early television programming, revealing that long before the age of PBS, leaders from business, philanthropy, and social reform movements as well as public intellectuals were all obsessively concerned with TV’s potential to mold the right kind of citizen. Based on years of path-breaking archival work, The Citizen Machine sheds new light on the place of television in the postwar American political landscape.

When Government Helped

Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal

When Government Helped

When Government Helped systematically evaluates some parallels between The Great Depression and the 2007-2008 global economic meltdown, not only in terms of their economic causes and consequences, but also in terms of their political and cultural contexts and the environmental crises that afflict both periods. The positive and negative lessons for contemporary policy-making are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of authors across a range of policy arenas. This book is a unique blend of disciplines that presents a new set of guideposts--some beneficial, some cautionary--for the future.

To Serve God and Wal-Mart

The Making of Christian Free Enterprise

To Serve God and Wal-Mart

Through the stories of people linked by the world's largest corporation, Bethany Moreton shows how a Christian service ethos powered capitalism at home and abroad. While industrial America was built by and for the urban North, rural Southerners comprised much of the labor, management, and consumers in the postwar service sector that raised the Sun Belt to national influence. These newcomers to the economic stage put down the plough to take up the bar-code scanner without ever passing through the assembly line. Industrial culture had been urban, modernist, sometimes radical, often Catholic and Jewish, and self-consciously international. Post-industrial culture, in contrast, spoke of Jesus with a drawl and of unions with a sneer, sang about Momma and the flag, and preached salvation in this world and the next. - Publisher.

West German Industry and the Challenge of the Nazi Past, 1945-1955

West German Industry and the Challenge of the Nazi Past, 1945-1955

In the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust, West German industrialists faced a major crisis in their public image. With mounting revelations about the use of forced and slave labor, the "Aryanization" of Jewish property, and corporate profiteering under National Socialism, industrialists emerged from the war with their national and international reputations in tatters. In this groundbreaking study, Jonathan Wiesen explores how West German business leaders remade and marketed their public image between 1945 and 1955. He challenges assumptions that West Germans--and industrialists in particular--were silent about the recent past during the years of denazification and reconstruction. Drawing on sources that include private correspondence, popular literature, and a wealth of unpublished materials from corporate archives, Wiesen reveals how German business leaders attempted to absolve themselves of responsibility for Nazi crimes while recasting themselves as socially and culturally engaged public figures. Through case studies of individual firms such as Siemens and Krupp, Wiesen depicts corporate publicity as a telling example of postwar selective memory. In his introduction and conclusion, Wiesen considers the recent establishment of a multibillion dollar fund to provide financial compensation to the victims of industrial exploitation during World War II. This acknowledgment by German industry of its ongoing responsibility for its past crimes underscores the contemporary relevance of Wiesen's study.

Selling Advertising

The U.S. Advertising Industry and Its Public Relations Activities, 1932-1945

Selling Advertising


Amway, the Cult of Free Enterprise

Amway, the Cult of Free Enterprise

Butterfield, an ex-Amway distributor, dissects the dynamics of this "Free Enterprise" empire with an insider's insight.

Labor and the American Left

An Analytical History

Labor and the American Left

According to public opinion data over the past decade, most Americans hold center-left attitudes regarding key economic and social policy issues. Recent polls even show significant support of “socialism” among American adults, especially self-identified Democrats and the “millennial generation.” At the same time, the focus of the mass media has been on a widespread right-wing “populism,” while movements on the left seem to lack political clout. In order to better understand this dichotomy, this book explores relations between organized labor and left-wing parties and movements in America at crucial junctures from the 1870s to the present. Providing fresh insight into current political developments, it highlights emerging alternatives and major challenges facing labor and the left today.