U.S. Capitalist Development since 1776: Of, By, and for Which People?

By Douglas Dowd | Go to book overview

a century ago, "was promises." Decency, sanity, safety, the love of life itself, require that those promises be redeemed. With effort, patience and impatience, and love, they can be.


Reading Suggestion

What follows will fall into two parts, roughly. First, suggestions that will assist the processes of rethinking our society, our ways of analyzing, and our politics; the second will be books either entirely or substantially programmatic--and some combine the two, as this book does.

Alan Wolfe's works have been noted in other connections. Here his recent Whose Keeper?: Social Science and Moral Obligation ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), is challenging. His earlier, America's Impasse: The Rise and Fall of the Politics of Growth ( Boston: South End Press, 1981), is useful both analytically and programmatically. Howard Zinn recent Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology ( New York: Harper Colins, 1990), is very helpful in showing how dissent is stifled. More technical but nevertheless important and readable for the nonprofessional is Fred Block, PostIndustrial Possibilities: A Critique of Economic Discourse* ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), a penetrating study of how outworn our concepts (etc.) are for understanding and dealing with current needs and possibilities. Useful analyses of the shortcomings of economics and proposals for change are found in Charles K. Wilbur and Kenneth P. Jameson , Beyond Reaganomics: A Further Inquiry into the Poverty of Economics ( South Bend: Notre Dame University Press, 1990). On racism, Bob Blauner, Black Lives, White Lives: Three Decades of Race Relations in America* ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), explains the limitations of policy since the 1960s.

On a different level, the historian Philip Slater, who has concerned himself with the roots of consumerism in his earlier work, pushes further in A Dream Deferred: America's Discontent and the Search for a New Democratic Ideal, ( Boston: Beacon Press, 1991). The errors of omission and commission of the U.S. Left, as well as its past achievements and current needs are examined well by the sociologist Richard Flacks, in Making History: The American Left and the American Mind* ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1989).

Of programs there is practically no end, it is good to know. Here we note but a few, which very much overlap with each other, as well as with

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U.S. Capitalist Development since 1776: Of, By, and for Which People?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Notes xxv
  • Acknowledgments xxvii
  • 1 - Economics and Economies, Past and Present 1
  • Reading Suggestions 39
  • 2 - Capitalism 55
  • A Summing Up 79
  • Notes 81
  • 3 - Business as a System of Power 93
  • Reading Suggestion 123
  • 4 - Growth and Development, Prosperity and Depression 137
  • Reading Suggestions 187
  • 5 - Income, Wealth, and Power 209
  • Reading Suggestions 252
  • 6 - Nature and Nurture; Country and City; Waste and Destruction 269
  • Reading Suggestions 321
  • 7 - World Economy and Imperialism 337
  • Reading Suggestions 400
  • Notes 404
  • 8 - The State 419
  • Reading Suggestions 472
  • 9 - Needs and Possibilities 493
  • Reading Suggestion 530
  • Name Index 543
  • Subject Index 549
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