The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History,. By Gabriel Kolko. (New York: The Free Press of Glen- coe, pp. Gabriel Kolko (ONTENTS Introduction 1 ONI! Monopolies and Mergers: Predictions and Promises 11 1 WO Competition and Decentralization: The Failure to. The Triumph of Conservatism has 87 ratings and 13 reviews. The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, – Gabriel Kolko.

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Return to Book Page. The Triumph of Conservatism: Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Triumph of Conservatismplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Triumph of Conservatism. Lists with This Book. Sep 15, Bryan added it Shelves: More than fifty years after this book’s publication, many readers would more readily grasp the premise if the title said “Cronyism” in place of “Conservatism.

Triumph of Conservatism – Gabriel Kolko – Google Books

In a volatile time, they had attempted to establish certainty by voluntary business methods undercutting their competitors and buying them outand they were failing.

So in the first decade and a half triumpn the 20th century, they turned to politics. The era’s major federal legislation and regulation have been hailed as Progressive victories in restraint of monopolies and unscrupulous “robber barons,” but Kolko traces those policies back to business leaders whose aim was to protect their positions against competition and instability.

In industry after industry, ttriumph biggest actors not only asked for the regulation, they led the development of the policies even writing the bills and staffed the bureaucracy that regulated their gsbriel. Sure enough, the resulting federal actions favored the largest and most established firms.

The Progressive Era presidents—Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson—were quite complicit in all of this, and had the confidence of business leaders, with few hostile exceptions that were more personal and political than ideological.

Kolko is bitter that even supposedly radical voices of the era failed to understand that Progressivism was a tool wielded by elite incumbents to entrench themselves in the economy, with enough appearance of reform to divert energy from the simmering socialist sentiment that found more successful outlets in Europe.

But it’s easy enough to set aside Kolko’s politics; a reader interested in a history of attacks on free markets, for example, will find in this book a detailed often dry affirmation of one of Milton Friedman’s refrains: They all are in cconservatism of it.


Jan 28, Cojservatism Almusiened rated tabriel really liked it. Tedious prose and over-detailed. But the main argument is worth the slog.

The reform efforts of the progressive-era were made possible through the dedicated action of their primary beneficiaries: Kolko argues this part I am not convinced of that the trend at the dawn of the twentieth century was not toward increased consolidation and monopoly but toward increased competition and uncertainty.

This led of course to unpredictability, the bane of all major corporations. Des Tedious prose and over-detailed.

Desiring rationalization and predictability, Corporations lobbied the presidents to make entry more difficult, by erecting barriers that looked like consumer protection this also sounds more conspiratorial than Kolko intends it to. Particularly instructive is his example of the Pure Food and Drug Act, generally associated with the muckraking journalism of Utpon Sinclair, major food producers had been lobbying for reform since the s.

Because Germany and France were no longer importing questionable American pork! Of course, this is not to suggest that consumer protection reforms are bad, but it helps to answer the questions: Apr 14, B rated it liked it Shelves: This book has a very interesting premise and it somewhat delivers.

Kolko is able to find a lot of proof that the progressive legislation was supported by various business interests.

The real problem is that Kolko never really tests his hypothesis against the dominant perspective. Sure, Teddy Roosevelt talked up the importance of business, but he also talked up the importance of antitrust.

Sure, he had business supports, but he also had relatively radical support. It also winds up feeling l This book has a very interesting premise and it somewhat delivers. It also winds up feeling like Kolko is blaming the leaders of the day for not having some definitely new vision, which Kolko pointedly makes clear isn’t socialism, but never defines.

There seems to be an argument here that businesses never had to get big and many leaders did not feel that way. As a caution–“Don’t forget about the powerful moneyed interests when describing who helped devise policy at the turn of the century”–it works.

As a conclusive statement that everyone were essentially stooges for Morgan et al. Feb 17, Brandy rated it it was ok Shelves: Had to read this one for a grad class. Probably hopefully will never pick it up again.

While I will admit that I didn’t read it cover to cover, I don’t think that that would’ve helped me enjoy or understand it any more. What normally would’ve taken me three or so hours to get through took the better part of a day, and I still don’t feel like I fully got what Kolko was trying to say. Maybe I just feel insecure because I disagree with his premise.


The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900–1916

Apr 04, Rhonda rated it it was ok. A wonderful cure for insomnia.

I fell asleep every time I picked this up. Political conservatism started aroundnot before. Government and business worked together to destroy tfiumph business.

Jan 13, Anders rated it it was amazing. A key book for understanding the progressive era and American history in general. It shows how the reforms of that era were intended to maintain the status quo and cement the power of the wasp establishment and big business.

Aug 12, Sean Chick rated it did not like it. The thesis is simplistic and attractive if you think there is something fundamentally wrong with America. However, the evidence does not support Kolko’s interpretations.

Business often times opposed reform and these reforms were actually effective in many cases. Apr 30, Lance rated it liked it. Interesting take on the progressive era, but too clouded by Kolko’s 60s world view.

Feb 03, Martin rated it liked it Shelves: Full review to come. Mar 31, Jamil rated it really liked it Shelves: Chip Alhazred rated it did not like it Dec 31, Carl rated it liked it May 28, Peter rated it really liked it Jan 16, Cody Hall rated it it was amazing Jul 19, Owen rated it it was amazing Apr 16, Razool rated it really liked it Jan 02, Iskra Koleva rated it really liked it Jun 25, Frederick Dotolo rated it it was amazing Mar 13, Jason Sheets rated it it was amazing Mar 18, Scott Parkin rated it it was amazing Jul 13, Sherman rated it liked it Jul 10, Nina rated it it was ok Jun 16, Mary Glynn rated it it was amazing Apr 07, Jim rated it liked it Trimuph 31, Diep Nguyen rated it it was ok Oct 01, John rated it really liked it Feb 14, Phillip Cruz rated it liked it Aug 05, cinservatism Books by Gabriel Kolko.

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