John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy

Princeton University Press
Free sample

Long before the "one percent" became a protest slogan, American founding father John Adams feared the power of a class he called simply "the few"—the wellborn, the beautiful, and especially the rich. In John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy, Luke Mayville explores Adams’s deep concern with the way in which inequality threatens to corrode democracy and empower a small elite. Adams believed that wealth is politically powerful not merely because money buys influence, but also because citizens admire and even identify with the rich. Mayville explores Adams’s theory of wealth and power in the context of his broader concern about social and economic disparities—reflections that promise to illuminate contemporary debates about inequality and its political consequences. He also examines Adams’s ideas about how oligarchy might be countered. A compelling work of intellectual history, John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy has important lessons for today’s world.
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About the author

Luke Mayville is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for American Studies at Columbia University. He is a contributor to Commonweal.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 4, 2018
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Pages
231
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ISBN
9780691184456
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
History / Revolutionary
Philosophy / Political
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / Political Freedom
Political Science / Political Ideologies / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Based on remarkable new research, acclaimed historian Alexander Rose brings to life the true story of the spy ring that helped America win the Revolutionary War. For the first time, Rose takes us beyond the battlefront and deep into the shadowy underworld of double agents and triple crosses, covert operations and code breaking, and unmasks the courageous, flawed men who inhabited this wilderness of mirrors—including the spymaster at the heart of it all.

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A magnificent account of the revolution in arms and consciousness that gave birth to the American republic.

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