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By Robert M. Collins

James Carville famously reminded invoice Clinton all through 1992 that "it's the economic system, stupid." but, for the final 40 years, historians of contemporary the United States have neglected the financial system to target cultural, social, and political subject matters, from the beginning of contemporary feminism to the autumn of the Berlin Wall. Now a student has improved to put the economic system again in its rightful position, on the middle of his historic narrative. in additional, Robert M. Collins reexamines the historical past of the U.S. from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to invoice Clinton, concentrating on the federal government's made up our minds pursuit of financial development. After tracing the emergence of progress as a concern in the course of FDR's presidency, Collins explores the checklist of successive administrations, highlighting either their good fortune in fostering development and its partisan makes use of. Collins finds that the obsession with progress appears to be like not just as a question of coverage, yet as an expression of chilly conflict ideology--both a method to pay for the hands build-up and evidence of the prevalence of the U.S.' industry economic system. yet below Johnson, this enthusiasm sparked a concern: spending on Vietnam unleashed runaway inflation, whereas the kingdom struggled with the ethical effects of its prosperity, mirrored in books resembling John Kenneth Galbraith's The prosperous Society and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. extra maintains as much as the tip of the Nineties, as Collins explains the genuine impression of Reagan's rules and astutely assesses Clinton's "disciplined growthmanship," which mixed deficit relief and a calm yet watchful financial coverage via the Federal Reserve. Writing with eloquence and analytical readability, Robert M. Collins deals a startlingly new framework for knowing the historical past of postwar the US.

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Extra resources for More: The Politics of Economic Growth in Postwar America

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Keyserling had been in the vanguard of the New Deal. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he did not hold a doctorate in economics but had proven himself a brilliant student of political economy during his long government service, most notably as a trusted adviser to New York’s senator Robert F. Wagner. John D. Clark had made a fortune in the oil business, then retired while in his early forties to study economics and undertake an academic career; he was serving as dean of the business school at the University of Nebraska when Truman tapped him to serve on the Council.

8 High employment per se did not constitute a completely trustworthy measure of economic success either. ” Indeed, experience had already demonstrated the “inadequacy” of aiming merely at a high number of jobs. ”10 The CEA’s view of production was rich and complex. ”12 The direction of the Council’s thinking during its first two years under Nourse’s leadership was clear. The full-fledged growthmanship that would emerge when Leon Keyserling took over the effective leadership of the Council in 1949—an increasingly focused, self-conscious, single-minded emphasis on growth as the overriding (but not sole) national economic goal—was not a sudden departure in its thinking but rather the culmination of a trend already well under way.

Writers found new metaphors for the American experience in the visible institutions of abundance: the supermarket was especially favored. ”5 And Norman Mailer heralded the political triumph of John F.

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