irst published in 1956, The Power Elite stands as a contemporary classic of social science and social criticism. C. Wright Mills examines and critiques the organization of power in the United States, calling attention to three firmly interlocked prongs of power: the military, corporate, and political elite. The Power Elite can be read as a good account of what was taking place in America at the time it was written, but its underlying question of whether America is as democratic in practice as it is in theory continues to matter very much today.
What The Power Elite informed readers of in 1956 was how much the organization of power in America had changed during their lifetimes, and Alan Wolfe’s astute afterword to this new edition brings us up to date, illustrating how much more has changed since then. Wolfe sorts out what is helpful in Mills’ book and which of his predictions have not come to bear, laying out the radical changes in American capitalism, from intense global competition and the collapse of communism to rapid technological transformations and ever changing consumer tastes. The Power Elite has stimulated generations of readers to think about the kind of society they have and the kind of society they might want, and deserves to be read by every new generation.
ALSO OF INTEREST
The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963
Today when you factor in the interest on the national debt from past wars and total defense expenditures the United States spends almost 40% of its federal budget on the military. It accounts for over 46% of total world arms spending. Before World War II it spent almost nothing on defense and hardly anyone paid any income taxes. You can’t have big wars without big government. Such big expenditures are now threatening to harm the national economy. How did this situation come to be?
In this book you’ll learn how in the critical twenty years after World War II the United States changed from being a continental democratic republic to a global imperial superpower. Since then nothing has ever been the same again. In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.
By buying this book you will discover:
– How the end of European colonialism created a power vacuum that the United States used to create a new type of world empire backed by the most powerful military force in human history.
– Why the Central Intelligence Agency was created and used to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations when the United States Constitution had no mechanism for such imperial activities.
– How national security bureaucrats got President Harry Truman to approve of a new wild budget busting arms race after World War II that is still going on to this day.
– Why President Eisenhower really gave his famous warning against the “military-industrial complex.”
– Why during the Kennedy administration the nuclear arms race almost led to the end of the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
– How President Kennedy tried to deal with what had grown into a “permanent government” of power elite national security bureaucrats in the executive branch of the federal government that had become more powerful than the individual president himself.
In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.