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Lobbying AmericaThe Politics of Business from Nixon to NAFTA$
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Benjamin C. Waterhouse

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149165

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149165.001.0001

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American Business, American Politics

(p.1) Introduction
Lobbying America

Benjamin C. Waterhouse

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter argues that the decline of liberal and progressive politics and the ascent of a business-oriented, neoliberal political culture did not emerge naturally from the exigencies of economic crisis or the inexorable logic of political traditions, but rather as the result of specific efforts by a diverse set of conservative activists. Although their organizational cohesion did not endure, organized American business leaders nonetheless established a vital legacy that continues to shape politics into the twenty-first century. Through their political mobilization, these workhorses of the industrial economy helped establish the political preconditions for the success of conservative politics, electorally and in policymaking. By successfully parlaying their economic clout into a broad-reaching movement, they cemented a conservative and market-oriented political vision whose legacy lingers today.

Keywords:   progressive politics, neoliberalism, economic crisis, conservative activists, American business leaders, industrial economy, policymaking, neoliberal political culture

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