Morton Keller, a leading scholar of twentieth-century American history, describes the complex interplay between rapid economic change and regulatory policy. In its portrait of the response of American politics and law to a changing economy, this book provides a fresh understanding of emerging public policy for a modern nation.
Keller treats the reader to detailed accounts of how pre-New Deal bureaucrats and judges reinterpreted antitrust laws, developed entire systems of railroad and utility regulation, designed rules governing automobiles and their carriers, created an entire branch of law devoted to corporations...and established rules for banks and insurance companies. America's regulators and judges were far busier before the New Deal than is commonly supposed.
Beginning in 1977 with Affairs of State: Public Life in Late Nineteenth Century America, Morton Keller embarked on a major examination of the American polity from the Civil War to the New Deal. He piloted the project into the twentieth century with Regulating a New Economy, and now has added a companion volume, Regulating a New Society… Together [these books] constitute nothing less than the most exhaustive investigation of the American polity in this period ever undertaken.
In this richly textured work, Mr. Keller investigates the public policy response to the emerging problems of early 20th-century America.
This book is a pleasure to read and should be in the personal library of every scholar interested in twentieth-century social and political history...This extraordinarily well documented work covers the changes and struggles surrounding a diverse range of social policies.
Keller observes that there were some striking similarities between the central concerns of American politics during the early decades of the twentieth century and the issues of today--for example, the status of women, the breakdown of families, racial and ethnic diversity, and abuses of power. Keller provides an extraordinary account of the public policies pursued in light of these concerns...[A] magisterial book.
This is an impressive synthesis of progressive era (and beyond) scholarship that, like its predecessors, will enjoy a long shelf-life and continue to give political history a good name.
A work of exceptional breadth, scholarly elegance, and comparative richness...[It] ranges lucidly and deftly across the landscape of early 20th-century European and American society...Combining the virtuosity of a political, social, and legal historian, Keller breaks new ground in examining the impact of late 19th-century industrialization, urbanization, and immigration on such institutes as marriage and the family, church and state, and the criminal justice system...The book's remarkably fresh insights reflect Keller's view that contemporary public policy debates remain grounded in their Progressive Era origins.
- 1995, Winner of the Littleton-Griswold Prize
- 432 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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