- Series: American Century
- Paperback: 245 pages
- Publisher: Hill and Wang; 1st edition (1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374522642
- ISBN-13: 978-0374522643
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American Populism: A Social History 1877-1898 (American Century) 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
This compact book delivers what it promises, a summary of the current understanding of populism, the rural social and political reform movement of the last quarter of the 19th century. The subtitle at first seems misleading, for populism by its very nature was a political movement. However, by emphasizing populism's social roots, the author conveys the idea that populism was much more than the political party. Instead of studying populism from the top down or analyzing it from the viewpoint of the 1890s, when it seemed to be at high tide, McMath turns to its historical roots in rural communities, before it became a powerful national political movement. The result is a clear synthesis of the latest research, valuable for general readers interested in the nature of grass-roots politics as well as for professional historians. with an interest in a major American protest movement.
- Charles K. Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A balanced and comprehensive political history that manages to convey the magic of the Populist appeal within a shrewd assessment of its electoral and cultural limits.” ―Leon Fink, University of North Carolina
“American Populism was one of the most frustratingly complex movements of political insurgency in American history. McMath skillfully guides his readers through its many side roads and contradictions. he has succeeded in pulling together the social, economic, and intellectual threads that linked the struggles of dissidents from the Great Plains to the Deep South, presenting his story in vigorous and readable prose. We have badly needed a brief but insightful overview of American Populism. Now we have it.” ―Dan Carter, Emory University
“A masterful concise survey, easily the best now available. McMath is thorough and balanced, yet he manges at the same time to tell a good old-fashioned story.” ―Gavin Wright, Stanford University
“A substantial achievement, ably synthesizing the expansive scholarship and contributing to it in significant ways. Well organized and deftly argued, it constitutes the best modern general history of this important subject.” ―Peter Argersinger, University of Maryland
Top Customer Reviews
This book explores the actions of besieged rural Americans, first through cooperative efforts based on dense community ties, and then through political efforts, to counter the forces of industrialization. It is a complex story involving a variety of agrarian and labor organizations, though dominated by the National Farmers' Alliance with its beginnings in western Texas in 1878 and to some extent the Knights of Labor, ranging from the far West, through the Plains and the Midwest, and through the entire southern belt. Agrarian reformers were forever in a contest with the forces of orthodoxy from community values to the agendas of the Democratic and Republican parties; a contest that they would eventually lose.
The author admits to drawing upon the vast work of historians concerning Populism or agrarianism. The book is somewhat complementary to the work of Lawrence Goodwyn, author of the "Democratic Promise. He finds little agreement with those who view Populists as reactionaries, unwilling to accept the demands of progress.Read more ›
Despite this seedbed of support for the rise of cooperative alliances and, later, populist political parties, McMath shows that old allegiances to the Democratic Party in the South and a more recent adherence to the Republican Party elsewhere dissuaded many farmers and laborers from carrying the Populist banner, which prevented the new party from achieving lasting gains. "In the end," he laments, the Populist movement "failed to bend the forces of technology and capitalism toward humane ends.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brings out important origins in American history at a critical period of the nineteenth centuryPublished 14 months ago by Conroy A. Shields
This was ordered for my daughters college class. Book was in good shape and was used for intended purchase at a fraction of the cost of purchasing it from her university.Published on March 24, 2014 by Lisa Bolin
McMath tracks the rise and fall of Progressivism in the United States with special emphasis on early origins in Texas. Well worth the read.Published on December 7, 2013 by M. Johnson
McMath's book on Populism at the turn of the 20th century is good enough in that it covers the basics. Read morePublished on June 24, 2012 by jjstiv02
The best thing I can say about this book is that it's not long. But it certainly felt longer than it was. Read morePublished on February 11, 2009 by Chris
As has been said of the role of "Hamlet," every era gets its version of Populist history. To Hicks, they were the forerunners of the New Deal. Read morePublished on July 11, 2000 by E. Martin