Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America
Author: Harry L Watson
As an engaging and persuasive survey of American public life from 1816 to 1848, Harry L. Watson's Liberty and Power remains a landmark achievement. Now updated to address twenty-five years of new scholarship, the book brilliantly interprets the exciting political landscape that was the age of Jackson-a time that saw the rise of strong political parties and an increased popular involvement in national politics. In this enduring and impressive work, Watson examines the tension between liberty and power that both characterized the period and formed part of its historical legacy.
Despite its subtitle, this is much more than just another study of Jacksonian-era politics. Instead, Watson has integrated recent literature and traditional themes to produce a persuasive and well-written survey of public life from 1816 to 1848. He shows how social, cultural, and economic factors interacted with politics, and stresses as a major theme the tension between liberty and power that both characterized the period and forms part of its historical legacy. His explanations of republican theory and the fight over the Bank of the United States are particularly clear, and there are also good sections on slavery, the Indians, and the changing role of women. Recent scholarship has dated well-known previous surveys of Jacksonian America. For now, this should be the volume of choice. For most libraries.-- Jonathan D. Sarna, Hebrew Union Coll.-Jewish Inst. of Religion, Cincinnati
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In the Jaws of the Dragon: America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony
Author: Eamonn Fingleton
In recent years, popular wisdom has held that opening American markets to Chinese goods was the best way to promote democracy in Beijing---that the Communist Party’s grip would quickly weaken as increasingly affluent Chinese citizens embraced American values.
That popular wisdom was wrong. As Eamonn Fingleton shows in this devastating book, instead of America changing China, China is changing America. Although this process of reverse convergence has been swept largely under the carpet by knee-jerk globalists in the American press, Americans will soon be hearing much more about it. Nowhere is the pattern more obvious than in business. Many top American corporations---Boeing, AT&T, the Detroit automobile companies, among them—openly collaborate with the Chinese Communist Party. In a stunning rejection of Western values, Yahoo! even provided the Chinese secret police with vital evidence that resulted in a ten-year jail sentence for one of its Chinese subscribers, a brave young dissident, under draconian censorship laws. Selling the American national interest short, countless other corporations abjectly do Beijing’s lobbying in Congress.
This book---the culmination of twenty years of study---also breaks new ground by revealing the secret behind China’s phenomenal savings rate. Top leaders literally force the Chinese people to save through a highly counterintuitive---and, to ordinary citizens, virtually invisible---policy called suppressed consumption. This practice, which is to economics roughly what steroids are to sport, is fundamentally incompatible with Westernideas of fair global competition. It is reinforced by an Orwellian system of political control that, as Fingleton reveals, utilizes an ancient bureaucratic tool called selective enforcement---a form of blackmail that instills a silent reign of terror throughout Chinese society. Most worryingly, selective enforcement can readily be unleashed on any American corporation with interests in China---which is to say just about every member of the Fortune 500.
While the Chinese people’s rising affluence is, of course, an occasion for wholehearted rejoicing, Uncle Sam should give the Chinese power system a wide berth---lest he catch his coattails in the jaws of a dragon.