Free Enterprise: An American History

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Yale University Press, Aug 20, 2019 - Business & Economics - 360 pages
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.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 A Memo That Changed the Course of History
22
2 From Free Labor to Free Enterprise
55
3 Free Enterprise versus the New Deal Order
79
4 A Beautiful but MuchAbused Phrase
111
5 The Party of Free Enterprise
141
6 Faith in Free Enterprise
167
7 Free Enterprise Needs Restatement to Suit Our Modern Needs
198
8 From Public Spending to Entitlements
229
Epilogue
254
Notes
265
Index
329
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Lawrence B. Glickman is Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies in the department of history at Cornell University. He has published several books, including Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America.

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