The Great Exception


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Table of Contents

PROLOGUE Philadelphia, 1936 1 INTRODUCTION Rethinking the New Deal in American History 9 CHAPTER 1 The Question of Democracy in the Age of Incorporation 35 CHAPTER 2 Kaleidoscope of Reform 63 CHAPTER 3 Working-Class Interregnum 91 CHAPTER 4 Constraints and Fractures in the New Liberalism 123 CHAPTER 5 The Great Exception in Action 153 CHAPTER 6 Toward a New Gilded Age 179 CHAPTER 7 The Era of Big Government Is Not Over (But the New Deal Probably Is) 209 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 231 NOTES 235 INDEX 263

About the Author

Jefferson Cowie is the James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class. His work has also appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the New Republic, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.


"Cowie--like the best work of the mid-century historian Richard Hofstadter, whom he frequently cites--has written not so much a work of American history as a brilliant meditation about a central dilemma of American history."--In These Times "Jefferson Cowie offers a grand interpretation of the road blocks to change... A rich survey, studded with insights culled from a generation of scholarship."--Michael Kazin, Bookforum "Cowie sings the achievements of the New Deal in a tragic register, emphasizing its transformative power while lingering on its compromises... Cowie's vision is coherent and arresting, and helps to make sense of recurring puzzles in American political experience. As a literary-intellectual posture, moreover, his fatalism is downright infectious."--Democracy "Important."--Harold Meyerson, American Prospect "One of the year's most important political books."--E.J. Dione Jr., Washington Post "Engaging and highly readable, Cowie's book provides an excellent, thought-provoking introduction to American economic and political history."--Choice

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