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Wright Patman : populism, liberalism, & the American dream /
Nancy Beck Young.
1st ed.
Dallas, Tex. : Southern Methodist University Press, 2000.
xix, 428 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
0870744534 (acid-free paper)
More Details
Dallas, Tex. : Southern Methodist University Press, 2000.
0870744534 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Nancy Beck Young is an assistant professor of history at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois.
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Publisher Fact Sheet
Nancy Beck Young's is the first book-length assessment of Texas Congressman Wright Patman's public life. Based on exhaustive research, this crisp congressional biography analyzes one of the twentieth century's most colorful & controversial legislators. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1928 & serving until his death in 1976, Patman combined populism with liberalism to fashion his own vision of how best to preserve the American Dream. Patman often operated on the margins of Washington politics, but through the force of his personality & his effectiveness as a speaker, he was able to coerce his colleagues to address his reform agenda. His abilities as a campaigner & his dependability as a Democratic vote in Congress on all questions except civil rights made him an important though sometimes unwelcome ally for the Democratic presidents under whom he served. From his earliest days in Congress Patman sought payment of a "bonus" for World War I veterans, to fulfill a debt to the men who fought for their country as well as to provide a depression relief & reform program that would expand the nation's currency. His assault on chain stores stemmed from his concern that they were destructive of mom-and-pop ventures as well as traditional American values & communities. During & after World War II he lobbied for programs beneficial to the small businesses he believed were victims of a federal policy that encouraged large multinational corporations. In the 1960s & 1970s he added a new dimension to his attack on elite privileges, maintaining that most large foundations existed not for charitable purposes but as tax dodges for the wealthy families that established them. His perennial crusade against the Federal Reserve & against high interest rates intensified as interest rates & inflation grew. Perhaps the most obvious evidence of his partisanship came with his aborted attempt to investigate Richard Nixon's activities in the Watergate affair prior to the 1972 election. The last major fight of his career was his futile effort to retain his chairmanship of the Banking & Currency Committee in 1975. His defeat was a testimonial to the changes liberalism underwent during his career in Washington, D.C. A new generation of reformers no longer cared about the economic populism that drove much of his agenda for forty-seven years. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century politics & policy development.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction. The Concerns of a National Congressmanp. 1
The Making of a National Congressmanp. 10
Mr. Patman Goes to Washingtonp. 29
A Different Kind of New Dealerp. 49
The Fight against the Chain Storesp. 73
World War II and the Fight to Preserve Small Businessp. 105
From Demagogy to Pragmatic Politicsp. 134
Fighting Eisenhower's "Tight Money" Policiesp. 161
Mr. Crusaderp. 191
Mr. Chairmanp. 218
Patmanomics versus Nixonomicsp. 245
Watergate and Beyondp. 271
Notesp. 307
Bibliographyp. 387
Indexp. 415
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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