More: The Politics of Economic Growth in Postwar America

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Oxford University Press, Apr 4, 2002 - History - 320 pages
James Carville famously reminded Bill Clinton throughout 1992 that "it's the economy, stupid." Yet, for the last forty years, historians of modern America have ignored the economy to focus on cultural, social, and political themes, from the birth of modern feminism to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now a scholar has stepped forward to place the economy back in its rightful place, at the center of his historical narrative. In More, Robert M. Collins reexamines the history of the United States from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, focusing on the federal government's determined pursuit of economic growth. After tracing the emergence of growth as a priority during FDR's presidency, Collins explores the record of successive administrations, highlighting both their success in fostering growth and its partisan uses. Collins reveals that the obsession with growth appears not only as a matter of policy, but as an expression of Cold War ideology--both a means to pay for the arms build-up and proof of the superiority of the United States' market economy. But under Johnson, this enthusiasm sparked a crisis: spending on Vietnam unleashed runaway inflation, while the nation struggled with the moral consequences of its prosperity, reflected in books such as John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. More continues up to the end of the 1990s, as Collins explains the real impact of Reagan's policies and astutely assesses Clinton's "disciplined growthmanship," which combined deficit reduction and a relaxed but watchful monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. Writing with eloquence and analytical clarity, Robert M. Collins offers a startlingly new framework for understanding the history of postwar America.
 

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User Review  - bkinetic - LibraryThing

Collins covers the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that gave rise to a culture of economic growth in the U.S. President Eisenhower, for one, was dubious of the wisdom of heightening economic growth to ... Read full review

Contents

The Ambiguity of New Deal Economics
1
1 The Emergence of Economic Growthmanship
17
2 The Ascendancy of Growth Liberalism
40
3 Growth Liberalism Comes a Cropper 1968
68
4 Richard Nixons Whig Growthmanship
98
5 The Retreat from Growth in the 1970s
132
6 The Reagan Revolution and Antistatist Growthmanship
166
7 Slow Drilling in Hard Boards
214
Conclusion
233
Notes
241
Index
285
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About the author (2002)

Robert M. Collins is Professor of History at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he teaches recent U.S. history. He is the author of The Business Response to Keynes, 1929-1964. He lives in Columbia, Missouri.

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