Starting in the mid-1930s, a handful of prominent American businessmen forged alliances with the aim of rescuing America--and their profit margins--from socialism and the "nanny state." Long before the "culture wars" usually associated with the rise of conservative politics, these driven individuals funded think tanks, fought labor unions, and formed organizations to market their views. These nearly unknown, larger-than-life, and sometimes eccentric personalities--such as GE's zealous, silver-tongued Lemuel Ricketts Boulware and the self-described "revolutionary" Jasper Crane of DuPont--make for a fascinating, behind-the-scenes view of American history.
The winner of a prestigious academic award for her original research on this book, Kim Phillips-Fein is already being heralded as an important new young American historian. Her meticulous research and narrative gifts reveal the dramatic story of a pragmatic, step-by-step, check-by-check campaign to promote an ideological revolution--one that ultimately helped propel conservative ideas to electoral triumph.
[...] Combining piquant profiles of corporate firebrands with a trenchant historical analysis that puts economic conflict at the heart of political change, Phillips-Fein makes an important contribution to our understanding of American conservatism.