Cover: Ruling America in PAPERBACK

Ruling America

A History of Wealth and Power in a Democracy

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Product Details


$30.50 • £24.95 • €27.50

ISBN 9780674017474

Publication Date: 04/15/2005


384 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Undoubtedly, Ruling America provides valuable insight into historical periods that trace the growing power of an elite ruling class, but perhaps its true value lies in the questions the narrative prompts about the balance of power in the world’s most powerful nation… A pertinent reference for scholars in the fields of business, economic and political history. For business historians in particular, this book provides a solid foundation to explore the machinations of big business and government inside America’s ruling class in the context of a triumphant agenda.—Shakila Yacob, Business History

One of the enduring mysteries of American politics, from the days of the Constitutional convention to the Bush administration, has been how, in a democracy, wealthy elites have managed to exert a powerful influence on public life. In this book, some of our finest historians address this question and in so doing offer a host of new insights into our national past and present. Class is the feature of American life that dares not speak its name, but these essays go a long way toward explaining how it operates in American politics.—Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University

This is a powerful set of essays on a sorely neglected subject: the history of the American elite in a world it has come to dominate. U.S. society has become less egalitarian in recent years, and Fraser and Gerstle’s polished and provocative anthology helps explain how it got that way.—Michael Kazin, author of The Populist Persuasion: An American History

Ruling America is a splendid collection of superbly written essays which probe the nature and importance of inequality in income and power over a 250-year period of American history. It succeeds in reintroducing concepts like ‘ruling class,’ ‘elite,’ and ‘establishment’ into our political and historical vocabulary. It is an impressive accomplishment.—Nelson Lichtenstein, University of California, Santa Barbara

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