Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jul 12, 2010 - History - 376 pages

“A compelling and readable story of resistance to the new economic order.” —Boston Globe

In the wake of the profound economic crisis known as the Great Depression, a group of high-powered individuals joined forces to campaign against the New Deal—not just its practical policies but the foundations of its economic philosophy. The titans of the National Association of Manufacturers and the chemicals giant DuPont, together with little-known men like W. C. Mullendore, Leonard Read, and Jasper Crane, championed European thinkers Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises and their fears of the “nanny state.” Through fervent activism, fundraising, and institution-building, these men sought to educate and organize their peers as a political force to preserve their profit margins and the “American way” of doing business. In the public relations department of General Electric, they would find the perfect spokesman: Ronald Reagan.

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Contents

Paradise Lost
3
Down from the Mountaintop
26
Changing the Climate
53
Churches Radio Stations and Magazines
68
How to Break a Union
87
Suburban Cowboy
115
The Attack on the Free Enterprise System
150
Turning the Tide
166
Acknowledgments
270
Notes
274
Bibliographic Essay and Note on Sources
321
Selected Bibliography
332
Index
341
26
342
166
343
185
346

Building the Business Activist Movement
185
Making the Moral Majority
213
The Market Triumphant
236
Epilogue
263

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About the author (2010)

Kim Phillips-Fein is the author of Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal. She teaches history at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and has written for The Nation, Dissent, The Baffler, The Atlantic, and The New York Times, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

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