Cover for FONES-WOLF: Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60

Selling Free Enterprise

The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the First Book Award from Phi Alpha Theta, 1995.

The post-World War II years in the United States were marked by the business community's efforts to discredit New Deal liberalism and undermine the power and legitimacy of organized labor. In Selling Free Enterprise, Elizabeth Fones-Wolf describes how conservative business leaders strove to reorient workers away from their loyalties to organized labor and government, teaching that prosperity could be achieved through reliance on individual initiative, increased productivity, and the protection of personal liberty.

Based on research in a wide variety of business and labor sources, this detailed account shows how business permeated every aspect of American life, including factories, schools, churches, and community institutions.

"Analyzes corporate America's ideological crusade with a comprehensiveness, clarity, and sophistication that no other work can match."--Gary Gerstle, author of Working-Class Americanism: The Politics of Labor in a Textile City, 1914-1960


Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf is an assistant professor of history at West Virginia University and was an associate editor of The Samuel Gompers Papers.

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