What's Good for Business Business and American Politics since World War II

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Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2012-04-01
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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This volume showcases the most exciting new voices in the fields of business and political history. While the media frequently warns of the newfound power of business in the world of politics, the authors in this book demonstrate that business has mobilized to shape public policy and government institutions, as well as electoral outcomes, for decades. Rather than assuming that business influence is inevitable, the chapters explore the complex evolution of this relationship in a wide range of different arenas--from attempts to create a corporate-friendly tax policy and regulations that would work in the interests of particular industries, to local boosterism as a weapon against New Deal liberalism, to the nexus between evangelical Christianity and the oil industry, to the frustrations that business people felt in struggles with public interest groups. The history that emerges show business actors organizing themselves to affect government in myriad ways, sometimes successfully but other times with outcomes far different than they hoped for. The result in an image of American politics that is more complex and contested than it is often thought to be. The essays represent a new trend in scholarship on political economy, one that seeks to break down the barriers that once separated old subfields to offer a vision of the economy as shaped by politics and political life influenced by economic relationships.

Author Biography

Kim Phillips-Fein is an Assistant Professor at the Gallatin School of NYU and is the author of Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan.

Julian E. Zelizer is Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton. He is numerous books, including Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security - From World War II to the War on Terrorism and Governing America: The Revival of Political History.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction What's Good for Business?, Kim Phillips-Fein and Julian E. Zelizer
1. The Advantages of Obscurity: World War II Tax Carry-Back Provisions and the Normalization of Corporate Welfare, Mark R. Wilson
2. Virtue, Necessity, and Irony in the Politics of Civil Rights: Organized Business and Fair Employment Practices in Postwar Cleveland, Anthony S. Chen
3. Moving Mountains: The Business of Evangelicalism and Extraction in a Liberal Age, Darren Dochuk
4. "Take Government Out of Business By Putting Business Into Government": Local Boosters, National CEOs, Experts, and the Politics of Mid-Century Capital Mobility, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer
5. The Liberal Invention of the Multinational Corporation: David Lilienthal and Postwar Capitalism, Jason Scott Smith
6. Pharmaceutical Politics and Regulatory Reform in Postwar America, Dominique A. Tobbell
7. Games of Chance: Jim Crow's Entrepreneurs Bet on 'Negro' Law-and-Order, N.D.B. Connolly
8. The End of Public Power: Place and the Postwar Electric Utility Industry, Andrew Needham
9. Supermarkets, Free Markets, and the Problem of Buyer Power in the Postwar United States, Shane Hamilton
10. Rethinking the Postwar Corporation: Management, Monopolies, and Markets, Louis Hyman
11. The Politics of Environmental Regulation: Business-Government Relations in the 1970s and Beyond, Meg Jacobs
12. The Corporate Mobilization against Liberal Reform: Big Business Day, 1980, Benjamin Waterhouse
Epilogue, Kim Phillips-Fein and Julian E. Zelizer

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