Description : In this important study, James Lorence traces the political career of Gerald J. Boileau, the prominent Wisconsin Progressive who served in the House of Representatives from 1930 to 1938. In addition, he sheds new light on the promise and ultimate failure of the liberal Left in the 1930s - which many believed would revolutionize the two-party system. Lorence closely examines the collaboration in Congress between the Wisconsin Progressives and the Minnesota Farmer-Laborites, revealing the influence of midwestern farmer-laborism on the national political developments of the New Deal era. Focusing on the congressional debates of the 1930s, Lorence demonstrates that third-party politics played a more active role in the House than previous studies have acknowledged. Because of Boileau's role as Progressive Group floor leader in the Seventy-fourth and Seventy-fifth congresses, he was an important figure in the effort to move the Roosevelt administration in a leftward direction. Lorence's examination of Boileau's political career begins with his service as a Wisconsin district attorney in the 1920s, continues through his active congressional career in the 1930s, and concludes with his final years as a Wisconsin circuit judge. The book also addresses such important political issues faced by Congress as farm policy, military relations, foreign policy, monetary inflation, and unemployment relief. Using archival research and statistical analysis of congressional roll calls, Lorence investigates Boileau's maturation as a legislator and skilled practitioner of independent bloc politics. Also significant is the study's depiction of the political climate during the depression. Boileau's ideas and actions were rooted in a fierce individualism that expressed itself in support for farmers, workers, and small businessmen. Consequently, he balked at the political centralization evident in New Deal liberalism, even as he supported much of the Roosevelt program. Clearly written and well argued, this book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the legislative history of the New Deal and to our knowledge of Wisconsin political history.
Description : Concentrated in states outside the Northeast and the South, state-level third-party radical politics has been more widespread than many realize. In the 1920s and 1930s, American political organizations strong enough to mount state-wide campaigns, and often capable of electing governors and members of Congress, emerged not only in Minnesota but in Wisconsin and Washington, in Oklahoma and Idaho, and in several other states. Richard M. Valelly treats in detail the political economy of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party (1918-1944), the most successful radical, state-level party in American history. With the aid of numerous interviews of surviving organizers and participants in the party's existence, Valelly recreates the party's rise to power and subsequent decline, seeking answers to some broad, developmental questions. Why did this type of politics arise, and why did it collapse when it did? What does the party's history tell us about national political change? The answers lie, Valelly argues, in America's transition from the political economy of the 1920s to the New Deal. Combining case study and comparative state politics, he reexamines America's political economy prior to the New Deal and the scope and ironies of the New Deal's reorganization of American politics. The results compellingly support his argument that the federal government's increasing intervention in the economy profoundly transformed state politics. The interplay between national economy policy-making and federalism eventually reshaped the dynamics of interest-group politics and closed off the future of "state-level radicalism." The strength of this argument is highlighted by Valelly's cross-national comparison with Canadian politics. In vivid contrast to the fate of American movements, "province level radicalism" thrived in the Canadian political environment. In the course of analyzing one of the "supressed alternatives" of American politics, Valelly illuminates the influence of the national political economy on American political development. Radicalism in the States will interest students of economic protest, of national policy-making, of interest-group politics and party politics.
Description : This is the first full history of voting in Wisconsin from statehood in 1848 to the present. Fowler both tells the story of voting in key elections across the years and investigates electoral trends and patterns over the course of Wisconsin's history. He explores the ways that ethnic and religious groups in the state have voted historically and how they vote today, and he looks at the successes and failures of the two major parties over the years. Highlighting important historical movements, Fowler discusses the great struggle for women's suffrage and the rich tales of many Wisconsin third parties--the Socialists, Progressives, the Prohibition Party, and others. Here, too, are the famous politicians in Wisconsin history, such as the La Follettes, William Proxmire, and Tommy Thompson. Winner, Award of Merit for Leadership in History, American Association for State and Local History
Description : Only the American right has ever really recognised the potency of the American left. Now, Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones fully details the left's numerous achievements, including the welfare state, opposing militarism, reshaping of American culture, black rights a
Description : For over a century, America's nutrition authorities have heralded milk as "nature's perfect food," as "indispensable" and "the most complete food." These milk "boosters" have ranged from consumer activists, to government nutritionists, to the American Dairy Council and its ubiquitous milk moustache ads. The image of milk as wholesome and body-building has a long history, but is it accurate? Recently, within the newest social movements around food, milk has lost favor. Vegan anti-milk rhetoric portrays the dairy industry as cruel to animals and milk as bad for humans. Recently, books with titles like, "Milk: The Deadly Poison," and "Don't Drink Your Milk" have portrayed milk as toxic and unhealthy. Controversies over genetically-engineered cows and questions about antibiotic residue have also prompted consumers to question whether the milk they drink each day is truly good for them. In Nature's Perfect Food Melanie Dupuis illuminates these questions by telling the story of how Americans came to drink milk. We learn how cow's milk, which was associated with bacteria and disease became a staple of the American diet. Along the way we encounter 19th century evangelists who were convinced that cow's milk was the perfect food with divine properties, brewers whose tainted cow feed poisoned the milk supply, and informal wetnursing networks that were destroyed with the onset of urbanization and industrialization. Informative and entertaining, Nature's Perfect Food will be the standard work on the history of milk.
Description : The period between World Wars I and II was a time of turbulent political change, with suffragists, labor radicals, demagogues, and other voices clamoring to be heard. One group of activists that has yet to be closely examined by historians is World War I veterans. Mining the papers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion (AL), Stephen R. Ortiz reveals that veterans actively organized in the years following the war to claim state benefits (such as pensions and bonuses), and strove to articulate a role for themselves as a distinct political bloc during the New Deal era. Beyond the Bonus March and GI Bill is unique in its treatment of World War I veterans as significant political actors during the interwar period. Ortiz’s study reinterprets the political origins of the "Second" New Deal and Roosevelt’s electoral triumph of 1936, adding depth not only to our understanding of these events and the political climate surrounding them, but to common perceptions of veterans and their organizations. In describing veteran politics and the competitive dynamics between the AL and the VFW, Ortiz details the rise of organized veterans as a powerful interest group in modern American politics.
Description : According to conventional wisdom, American social policy has always been exceptional--exceptionally stingy and backwards. But Edwin Amenta reminds us here that sixty years ago the United States led the world in spending on social provision. He combines history and political theory to account for this surprising fact--and to explain why the country's leading role was short-lived. The orthodox view is that American social policy began in the 1930s as a two-track system of miserly "welfare" for the unemployed and generous "social security" for the elderly. However, Amenta shows that the New Deal was in fact a bold program of relief, committed to providing jobs and income support for the unemployed. Social security was, by comparison, a policy afterthought. By the late 1930s, he shows, the U.S. pledged more of its gross national product to relief programs than did any other major industrial country. Amenta develops and uses an institutional politics theory to explain how social policy expansion was driven by northern Democrats, state-based reformers, and political outsiders. And he shows that retrenchment in the 1940s was led by politicians from areas where beneficiaries of relief were barred from voting. He also considers why some programs were nationalized, why some states had far-reaching "little New Deals," and why Britain--otherwise so similar to the United States--adopted more generous social programs. Bold Relief will transform our understanding of the roots of American social policy and of the institutional and political dynamics that will shape its future.
Description : Examines the organization of the unemployed during the Great Depression and demonstrates the linkage between their mobilization and automobile-industry organization.