The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America
by Lawrence Goodwyn
AVAILABILITY: Readily Available
Publication Date: November 1978
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Binding: Trade Paper
Topics: POPULISM; UNITED STATES - POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT - 1865-1900
Description: Lawrence Goodwyn's monumental study, 'Democratic Promise', hailed as the definitive study of American Populism by scores of reviewers and described as a sweeping reinterpretation of political life in modern America, is presented here in a condensed version for a general audience. At the heart of this study is a central issue - the practical definition of such ideas as "freedom" and "democracy" when they are confronted with the complicated set of values that the author calls the "received culture" of the Western world.
Goodwyn offers new political language designed to provide a fresh means of assessing both democracy and authoritarianism today. American populism provides a perspective for this analysis because the agrarian revolt was the largest and most intense mass democratic movement in American history. The defeat of the Populists, coupled with the inability of 20th century Americans to generate an equivalent wide-ranging democratic movement, has had profound impact in our own times.
Lawrence Goodwyn is Professor of History at Duke University.
Review(s): "A history of Populism that will be the new standard against which all future efforts must be measured." - Robert Rosenstone, The Progressive
"There is more to be learned in this book about the Populist party than in any other one volume....It distinguishes between a shadow movement that was a caricature and the reality that deserves respect....The book makes it more difficult to discredit any mass protest against existing institutions by labeling it 'Populist'." - C. Vann Woodward, New York Review of Books
"A brilliant, comprehensive study." - Civil Liberties Review