Right Out of California

The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism
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Author(s): Kathryn S. Olmsted
Original Publish Date: May 11, 2010
Product Number: EB00668232
Released: Apr 21, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781620971390
Publisher: The New Press
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Description

"Olmsted finds in Depression-era California the crucible for strong-arm policies against farm workers that bolstered the conservative movement" (Kirkus Reviews). At a time when a resurgent immigrant labor movement is making urgent demands on twenty-first-century America—and when a new and virulent strain of right-wing anti-immigrant populism is roiling the political waters—Right Out of California is a fresh and profoundly relevant touchstone for anyone seeking to understand the roots of our current predicament. This major reassessment of modern conservatism reexamines the explosive labor disputes in the agricultural fields of Depression-era California, the cauldron that inspired a generation of artists and writers and that triggered the intervention of FDR's New Deal. Noted historian Kathryn S. Olmsted tells how this brief moment of upheaval terrified business leaders into rethinking their relationship to American politics—a narrative that pits a ruthless generation of growers against a passionate cast of reformers, writers, and revolutionaries. "Olmstead's vivid, accomplished narrative really belongs to the historiography of the left . . . As her strong research shows, race and gender prejudice informed, or deformed, almost the whole of American social and cultural life in the 1930s and was as common on the left as on the right." —The New York Times Book Review "An accessible work that aids in contextualizing the rise of future conservative leaders such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan." —Publishers Weekly "A major reworking of the Republican right's origins, this is also a compelling read for anyone interested in California's outsize importance in America's recent past." —Darren Dochuk, author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt

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