Starting in the mid-1930s, a handful of prominent American businessmen forged alliances with the aim of rescuing America - and their profit margins - from socialism and the "nanny state." Long before the "culture wars" usually associated with the rise of conservative politics, these driven individuals funded think tanks, fought labor unions, and formed organizations to market their views. These nearly unknown, larger-than-life, and sometimes eccentric personalities - such as General Electric's zealous, silver-tongued Lemuel Ricketts Boulware and the self-described "revolutionary" Jasper Crane of DuPont - make for a fascinating, behind-the-scenes view of American history. The winner of a prestigious academic award for her original research on this book, Kim Phillips-Fein is already being heralded as an important new young American historian. Her meticulous research and narrative gifts reveal the dramatic story of a pragmatic, step-by-step, check-by-check campaign to promote an ideological revolution---one that ultimately helped propel conservative ideas to electoral triumph.More
What lies behind the dramatic rise of American conservative politics in the 20th century? Invisible Hands, a painstakingly researched historical book by Kim Phillips-Fein, offers new insight into the backroom dealings of businessmen who united against the New Deal's "nanny state", culminating in the triumph of Ronald Reagan's conservatism. Actress Lorna Raver narrates this revealing history with depth and aplomb, her gravelly, character-filled voice lending gravitas to Phillips-Fein's research. Along the way, listeners discover how the zealous efforts of people like General Electric's Lemuel Ricketts Boulware and DuPont's Jasper Crane tamped down the power of labor unions and dismantled socialist policies that restricted the free market - insuring the bottom line of the massively lucrative corporations these men represented.
"Incisive.... An important contribution to our understanding of American conservatism." (Publishers Weekly)
"Engaging history from a talented new scholarly voice." (Kirkus)
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