Who Rules America? Challenges to Corporate and Class Dominance 6th Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0078111563
ISBN-10: 0078111560
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 6 edition (July 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0078111560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0078111563
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

G. William Domhoff, who goes by "Bill," is a Research Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Born into an apolitical middle-American family in what he and his friends thought of as the Midwest (Ohio), he received his B.A. at Duke University, his M.A. at Kent State University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Miami. He has been teaching at the University of California, Santa Cruz, since 1965.

Visit Bill's Web site at http://whorulesamerica.net/ for published articles, supplemental reading, and a 2014 YouTube video that touches on many topics from his latest research.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Aspiring Polymath on December 21, 2010
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I own the 5th and 6th editions. The author, Bill Domhoff ' actually makes useful changes through the editions. Not as a way to make big bucks off of students who "must"(not really) buy the newest edition that their teachers recommend. He updates it with the latest news on the power struggles. And the newest edition shows his hope in Barack Obama's challenges to the corporate community.

You see, nobody likes to admit that there is a class system in the United States. Bill Domhoff shows that there clearly is a corporate community that propagates itself through joining exclusive clubs, expensive private schools, and through this, having extensive connections to other people in the upper class. It has been in place since before the civil war. Yes, that's right. The age of the robber barons. And if this isn't interesting enough, Domhoff shows how they influence public policy, and even public opinion. You'll find yourself thinking twice about many of the bills that are in the news. Because chances are, they are a product of the vicegrip that the corporate community has on our country.

Anyway, I think that this book makes understanding the power structure in the United States a lot easier, and it makes sense of a lot of the things you hear. It in slightly politically charged, but it has quite a bit of facts, and is a very sociological study of power in america.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Paul on August 7, 2013
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This is the 2010 edition of a book power-elite theorist G. William Domhoff has been updating since the 70s. His model is sensible, though not without its critics, and his empirical data vast. Since I have read his earlier editions I was not surprised by much here. However, the closing chapter gets into the tricky business of predicting, or at least speculating about the future of our democracy in relation to Obama and the democratic majorities in Congress at the time. There are rosey suggestions that constitutional rights would be restored, and Bush era policies regarding terrorist suspects reigned in. In light of recent disclosures regarding secret NSA programs, this is ironic. The war in Afghanistan might be settled diplomatically. (see p.229) Most interestingly, Domhoff was optimistic about corporate power being checked by unions, which Obama would likely support. The fact that the Obama's appointees had spent more time in public service than in boardrooms of the private sector was cited as a significant indicator of decreased commitment to big business. Of course, Domhoff concedes that the Administration could also cave on these issues and claim that the Republican minority obstructed their best efforts in some of these areas. Still, the extent to which all of these suggestions turn out to be wrong is striking. The author has written a 2012 edition, and I don't know what he says about these matters now. What I do know is that the campaign pledges mentioned in the book (e.g. closing Guantanamo, restoring pr-Bush income tax codes, pursuing a government option for healthcare, et.al.) were not fulfilled, and that corporate power has rarely been so great at the expense of the middle, working and lower classes.Read more ›
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By SincereSeeker on February 10, 2010
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I found this book to be very insighful and answered a lot of my own personal questions and thoughts. I have known that class structure in our society plays a major role in both business and political arenas.

The average person is so busy dealing with personal issues, focusing so much energy on social issues, watching reality shows and more concern about who will win the super bowl. We forget to stop and think because we are so stimulated as society.

This book explains the class structures in our society and how the "upper classes" and the "ultra wealthly families" use their position of power to influence.

This book is an "eye opener" and highly recommended if you want the truth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doctor Jean ND on December 17, 2013
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I appreciate the huge amounts of data Domhoff organizes to support his theory that a highly-organized corporate class, united by self-interest and some social connections, dominates the American political system through its large political donations for candidates who favor their policies and by appointments within the executive branch. Domhoff finds their power center is the Business Roundtable.

Domhoff's disdain for the Republican party and favoritism toward the Democrats cast a bias that I found distasteful. Democrat and Republican legislators are similar in voting on economic and tax issues. Research shows that they vote about 90% in favor of policies favored by the top 10% income-wise and very little for policies favored by the middle and lower socioeconomic classes. Let's not forget that during Clinton's reign, Robert Rubin encouraged deregulation of the financial sector leading to economic collapse a few years later. Domhoff demonstrates that the corporate class dominates the US political system.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Ana L. Marquez on April 23, 2013
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If you want a better understanding of corporate greed and the right wing agenda read this book great information no propaganda
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By Paul Buckwalter on January 14, 2015
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Excellent analysis
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