Live recording held at the café at AS220 on Empire Street, Providence at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.
A call to arms to protect business from the anti-capitalist rhetoric of the 1960’s
In 1971 the soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell warned the business community that the New Left was anti-business and was going to take the country down an anti-business path. He recommended that an intellectual and political campaign start to respond to that threat. From this clarion call, think tanks were created, publicity circulated, and in many ways the ground was laid—or at least fertilized—for the eventual election of Ronald Reagan and the political ascendancy of conservatism.
Jefferson Decker, assistant professor of American Studies and Political Science at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, is currently working on a book called The Other Rights Revolution: Conservative Lawyers and the Remaking of American Government. The book tells the story of the non-profit, “public-interest” legal movement on the American right.
Vanessa Williamson, co-authored, with Theda Skocpol, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. Her primary research interest is the politics of taxation in the United States. She is a third-year PhD student at Harvard University in Government and Social Policy. She has also served at the Policy Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
J. Clifford Hobbins teaches courses in history, economics, political science, international relations and humanities at the Portsmouth Abbey School, where he has taught for 37 years. Hobbins received a masters degree in history from Marquette University.
- The Conservative Ascendency: How the GOP Right Made Political History, by Donald T. Critchlow (Harvard University Press; 2007)
- The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law, by Steven M. Teles (Princeton University Press; 2008)
- The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, by Corey Robin (Oxford University; 2011)
- Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal, by Kim Phillips-Fein (Norton 2010)
Now in its seventeenth year, Action Speaks is made possible by generous financial and in-kind support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, AS220, Robinson & Cole, LLP, WGBH 89.7 Boston, RIPBS, and the Providence Phoenix. Action Speaks has been heard on over 175 radio stations across the United States, and is presented by WGBH 89.7 in Boston. If you can’t be at our live taping, you can listen and download each show free from our website ten days following each panel.