Capitalism Contested

Posted on April 2, 2021

The New Deal and Its Legacies

Vinel Jean-Christian

Romain Huret, Nelson Lichtenstein

Editeur : University of Pennsylvania Press

Parution : 02/04/2021

Nombre de pages : 360

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In the historical narrative that prevails today, the New Deal years are positioned between two equally despised Gilded Ages—the first in the late nineteenth century and the second characterized by the world of Walmart, globalization, and right-wing populism in which we currently live. What defines these two ages is an increasing level of inequality legitimized by powerful ideologies, namely, Social Darwinism at the end of the nineteenth century and neoliberalism today. In stark contrast, the era of the New Deal was first and foremost an attempt to put an end to inequality in American society. In the historical longue durée, it appears today as a kind of golden age when policymakers and citizens sought to devise solutions to the two major “questions”—labor on one side, social on the other—that were at the heart of the American political economy during the twentieth century.

Capitalism Contested argues that the New Deal order remains an effective framework to make sense of the transformation of American political economy over the last hundred years. Contributors offer an historicized analysis of the degree to which that political, economic, and ideological order persists and the ways in which it has been transcended or even overthrown. The essays pay attention not only to those ideas and social forces hostile to the New Deal, but to the contradictions and debilities that were present at the inauguration or became inherent within this liberal impulse during the last half of the twentieth century. The unifying thematic among the essays consists not in their subject matter—politics, political economy, social thought, and legal scholarship are represented—but in a historical quest to assess the transformation and fate of an economic and policy order nearly a century after its creation.

Contributors: Kate Andrias, Romain Huret, William P. Jones, Nelson Lichtenstein, Nancy MacLean, Isaac William Martin, Margaret O’Mara, K. Sabeel Rahman, Timothy Shenk, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Jason Scott Smith, Samir Sonti, Karen M. Tani, Jean-Christian Vinel.

Romain Huret is a professor at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris. He is author of numerous books, including American Tax Resisters and The Experts’ War on Poverty.

Nelson Lichtenstein is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. He is author or editor of numerous books, including The Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left’s Founding Manifesto and The Right and Labor in America: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Jean-Christian Vinel teaches American history at Université de Paris. He is author of The Employee: A Political History, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Introduction. The New Deal: A Lost Golden Age?
Romain Huret, Nelson Lichtenstein, and Jean-Christian Vinel

Part I. The Political Economy of New Deal Reformism

Chapter 1. Transcending the New Deal Idea of the State: Managerialism, Neoliberalism, and Democracy
K. Sabeel Rahman

Chapter 2. Inventing the American Economy
Timothy Shenk

Chapter 3. The Triumph of the Mixed Economy: The New Deal Order, Keynes, and the Genius of American Liberalism
Jason Scott Smith

Chapter 4. The Strange Career of Institutional Keynesianism
Samir Sonti

Part II. New Deal Headwinds: Contestation and Resistance

Chapter 5. The Unanticipated Consequences of New Deal Poor Relief: Welfare Rights, Empowered States, and the Revival of Localism
Karen M. Tani

Chapter 6. Financing Security and Opportunity: The New Deal and the Origins of the Millennial Student Debt Crisis
Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Chapter 7. The Shackles of the Past: Constitutional Property Tax Limitations and the Fall of the New Deal Order
Isaac William Martin

Chapter 8. The Koch Network: Property Supremacist Ideology and Politics in the Twenty-First Century
Nancy MacLean

Part III. Capital and Labor in the Twilight of the New Deal

Chapter 9. Economic Royalists and Their Kingdom in the New Deal Era and Beyond
Nelson Lichtenstein

Chapter 10. The High-Tech Revolution and the Disruption of American Capitalism
Margaret O’Mara

Chapter 11. The Other Operation Dixie: Public Employees and the Resilience of Urban Liberalism
William P. Jones

Chapter 12. Constructing a New Labor Law for the Post-New Deal Era
Kate Andrias

Notes
List of Contributors
Index
Acknowledgments

  • “An impressive collection of well-researched, pointed, and thought-provoking essays.”
    Howard Brick, author of Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American Thought
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