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Essay Samples > Book Review > Invisible Hands
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Invisible Hands

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The book by Kim Phillips-Fein tries to research accounts of the resistance to government economic domination. It tries to elaborate on the works of businessmen and how they advocated for more liberal economic policies in the United States from the periods of Franklin Roosevelt to that of Ronald Reagan. The book sheds light on the twentieth century conservatives who have tried to propagate for new economic mentality since FDR proposals of the New Deal. Thus, the book provides a well thought investigation into the counteractions that were launched by businessmen so as to attack the authoritarianism posed by the New Deal pact of FDR.

Kim Philips-Fein explains in the book Invisible Hands how it happened that a small group of US businessmen was successful in establishing such a political movement. These businessmen formed a formidable resistance to the New Deal economic policies and programs. They tried to educate others and organized their peers in forming a resistance. The books recount the efforts of Leonard Read, W.C Mullendore, and Jasper Crane and their role in reshaping American Politics.

In this book, the author tries to accomplish and justify the works and views taken by the conservatives in illustrating their dissatisfaction with the policies of FDR under the programs of the New Deal. The author skillfully illuminates the work of the conservative movement who tried to enhance a new economic mentality. More importantly, Phillips-Fein makes a contribution that enhances an understanding of the American Conservatism. It portrays the philosophy and ideas of Libertarians, who proposed drastic reductions in personal and corporate taxation, expansive deregulation of industries, and reduction in government expenditures on social services. Thus, the work of the businessmen in their opposition to government policies is illustrated in this book. It also explains on how these businessmen tried to shape and control American Politics through the Tea Party.

However, in the book, the author fails to capture and note the work of other conservatives who consisted of several corporate-state advocates that considered the New Deal as exaggerated. She only identifies the free market proponents and fails to mention their supporters and those who supported the quest for the new economic mentality. In addition, the book also pays little attention to the analysis of the anti-labor firms that consisted Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

However, the book does not present any new form of interpretation of the American Historical development. It just explains the reactions of some of the American Businessmen to the New Deal postulated by Franklin Roosevelt. It explains the varied and different attempts made in order to repeal the New Deal from the end of the Second World War to the election of Ronald Regan as President.

In particular, the book expresses and gives excellent descriptions of the ideas that fueled the conservative movement. It also points out the people and other individual personalities that led this movement, also called the anti-New Deal. It includes the organizations, which rose and fell, that these people created and directed. Thus, this book tries to offer a detailed and deft interpretation of the historical development of these economic policies.

In addition, the book illustrates the views held by businessmen regarding Roosevelt. Though he posed no threat, the blow to their egos and threats for organized labor to their power pushed them and they had to react. Thus, these facts, as written in the book, remain consistent with the factors that led to the conservative movement. The work by Wolfskill gives illustrations that support these facts.

The book also looks at the works of Frederic Van Hayek, Ayn Rand, and Ludwick von Meis and their influence over the years. It shows the contractions of their faith in the free market that was posed on their followers. In addition, attempts of involving religious groups and organizations in the free market crusade are also analyzed. Thus, the only point on which the businessmen agreed was the opposition to the labor unions. An important analysis in the book is related to the work of John Maynard Keynes on consumption, which was deemed to have the ability to enhance economic growth after 1929’s recession.

The author’s main arguments in the book are based on the earlier American history, on the topics of conservative and liberalism viewpoints about politics and economic matters. This is a book about the contemporary American politics, new right development and political history, and how America has developed historically. The author tries to postulate that the contemporary American history was shaped by the works of the businessmen. The supporting arguments for this claim can be found in the ways in which they tried to wage an opposing war on the New Deal economic programs. In addition, the working of modern politics in the United States is one of the topics the author explains.

Secondly, the book gives an insight into the development of right wing politicians and their policies in the United States. In the introduction, the book clearly demonstrates the focuses of the businessmen that guided and directed the rise of the rightist. It devotes an enormous part to the works of Goldwater and Reagan. In the book, it is shown that these men were a key to the development and rise of the movement against the New Deal ideologies.

In the book, the alignments of various ideologies, especially those related to liberalism, are provided. The book illustrates how businessmen resisted liberalism, its goals and values under the New Deal pact. It also provides insight into how they eventually succeeded, educating and organizing their peers. Besides, some other groups and people opposed to liberalism through American Liberty League, Cato Institute, Hoover Institution, Ripon society among others are provided in the book.

The author does not demonstrate any bias to economic or historical ideology. The book maintains a neutral perspective on the contemporary American issues and tries to elaborate on them. However, within the book, some interpretations may not have substantiated evidence. This is because there are not many facts about how these men tried to confront liberal policies in the United States politics. Their attack on the free enterprise system lacks detailed explanation in the book. More importantly, the book just gives facts and does not attack any political alignment in the United States, but it offers a preview of the shaping and development of these alignments. This also provides a chronology of the election on Ronald Regan and the use of the anti-new Deal ideologies on conservatism.

In conclusion, the book is very informative, and it provides an excellent objective history account from the 1930s onward. It talks about a group of free market business proponents like the Lemuel Boulware and Du Ponts among others and how they reacted to the New Deal. The book gives information on how the men promoted a new economic mentality and vision, anti-government protests, business support ideologies, and the eventual establishment of a political coalition that might win elections. The book also looks into the philosophies taken by Hayek, Friedman, and Ayn Rand.

Lastly, the book offers insight into the political coalitions of the religious groups and social conservatives, providing an outstanding history of the conservative movement. With these ideas, the book does not miss any factual support of the facts but offers a detailed analysis of them. Thus, the contribution of the author to American history is highly distinctive as she maintains neutrality and originality in her subject.

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