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Volume 4, Issue 7

BIBLIOGRAPHY: American Populism and the Persistence of the Paranoid Style

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Suggestions for Further Reading

  • The major works of Richard Hofstadter are The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It (1948), The Age of Reform (1955), Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1963), and The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays (1965). 

  • David Brown’s Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography (2006) offers a recent interpretation of his impact.  Alan Brinkley’s “Richard Hofstadter’s The Age of Reform: A Reconsideration,” Reviews In American History, Vol. 13, No. 3 (September 1985), pp. 462-480, offers a slightly older one.  The anthology The New American Right (1955), edited by Daniel Bell, presents Hofstadter’s work in the context of other post-WWII critics of American “status” politics.

  • Michael Kazin’s The Populist Persuasion (1995) traces the impact of Populism on American politics since the late 19th century.  See also his A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan (2006) for a more positive take on Bryan than Hofstadter had to offer. 

  • Worthwhile histories of the original Populists include Lawrence Goodwyn’s Democratic Promise (1976), Charles Postel’s The Populist Vision (2007), and, provided you take their age into consideration, John Hicks’ The Populist Revolt (1931) and C. Vann Woodward’s classic Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel (1938).  See also Edward Ayers’ The Promise of the New South (1992) for Populism in the Southern cultural and political context.

  • Alan Brinkley’s Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (1982) covers anti-Roosevelt populism in the 1930s.  Warren Donald, Radio Priest: Charles Coughlin, The Father of Hate Radio (1996) and William Ivy Hair, The Kingfish and His Realm: The Life and Times of Huey P. Long (1991) are more recent biographies. 

  • On George Wallace, see Jody Carlson’s George C. Wallace and the Politics of Powerlessness : The Wallace Campaigns for the Presidency, 1964-1976 (1981) and Dan Carter’s The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (second edition, 2000).
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