Free Enterprise (Hardcover)

An American History

By Lawrence B. Glickman

Yale University Press, 9780300238259, 360pp.

Publication Date: August 20, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (8/20/2019)
MP3 CD (8/20/2019)

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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.

About the Author

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.