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For the People

American Populist Movements from the Revolution to the 1850s

Ronald P. Formisano (author)

ISBN: 9780807872628

Publication Date: Aug 2012

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Audio disc   CD-Audio   Downloadable audio file  

Offers a new interpretation of populist political movements from the Revolution to the eve of the Civil War and roots them in the disconnect between the theory of rule by the people and the reality of rule by elected representatives. Ron Formisano seeks to rescue populist movements from the distortions of contemporary opponents as well as the misunderstandings of later historians.
£39.50

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  • Table of Contents
  • Author Biography
  • Customer Reviews
For the People offers a new interpretation of populist political movements from the Revolution to the eve of the Civil War and roots them in the disconnect between the theory of rule by the people and the reality of rule by elected representatives. Ron Formisano seeks to rescue populist movements from the distortions of contemporary opponents as well as the misunderstandings of later historians.

From the Anti-Federalists to the Know-Nothings, Formisano traces the movements chronologically, contextualizing them and demonstrating the progression of ideas and movements. Although American populist movements have typically been categorized as either progressive or reactionary, left-leaning or right-leaning, Formisano argues that most populist movements exhibit liberal and illiberal tendencies simultaneously. Gendered notions of "manhood" are an enduring feature, yet women have been intimately involved in nearly every populist insurgency. By considering these movements together, Formisano identifies commonalities that belie the pattern of historical polarization and bring populist movements from the margins to the core of American history.

Reviews

For the People is the most important work in print on the sources and development of the people's unofficial national faith from the Revolution to the Civil War: populism. It is by turns brilliant and arresting. A must read.--Bruce Laurie, University of Massachusetts, Amherst|"The American Revolution established the people's sovereignty as the fundamental principle of the new republic. Yet a direct claim to sovereignty was obscured and blunted by elite political power. Time and again in American history movements have risen to reassert that claim. Deeply grounded in decades of research and writing, Ronald Formisano's For the People presents a foundational synthesis of the first epoch of these populist insurgencies between the Revolution and the Civil War. Reaffirming his long-held position as one of this country's most eminent political historians, Formisano presents a compelling interpretation of how populist movements moved from eighteenth-century modes of violent resistance to nineteenth-century engagement in electoral politics. For the People will be required reading for a generation of historians, political scientists, and students of the American condition."--John L. Brooke, Ohio State University
Language English
Pages 328
Dimensions 235 x 156
Date Published 30 Aug 2012
Publisher The University of North Carolina Press
Subject/s History of the Americas   Social & cultural history  
Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Populisms, Progressive and Reactionary
2 The American Revolution and the Anti-Federalist Legacy
3 The Taming of the American Revolution
4 The Rise of New Social Movements
5 Anti-Masonry: A New Kind of Populist Movement
6 Anti-Masonry: Progressive and Reactionary
7 Anti-Masonry, the Parties, and the Changing Public Sphere
8 Two "Wars" of the 1840s
9 Epilogue and Prologue: The Know-Nothings
Notes
Index

Ronald P. Formisano is William T. Bryan Chair of American History at the University of Kentucky. He is author of four books, including Boston Against Busing: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s.

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