This condensed version of Lawrence Goodwyn’s Democratic Promise, the highly- acclaimed study on American Populism which the Civil. Lawrence Goodwyn, sitting on the floor, during interviews for Duke’s oral (An abridged version, “The Populist Moment: A Short History of the. Economic populism is the new flavor in politics, but it won’t be Wall Street (read Lawrence Goodwyn’s The Populist Moment to learn the full.

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I didn’t know until I laawrence this what really started this movement but according to Goodwyn it was the end of the Civil War and the crop lien system in the South and the West. But before the Populists could begin contemplating challenging the two-party system, much preliminary work needed to be accomplished: The hard currency ultimately exaggerated the worst abuses of the crop lien system then prevalent in the South, forcing farmers land-owners and tenants alike into a cycle of increasing debt and falling commodity prices that they could not escape.

It is helpful to bear in mind that the Populist moment in America came before the global twentieth-century struggle between the East and the West. I can’t imagine how most of them survived.

Reform movements such as Populism necessarily call into question the underlying values of the larger society. Other editions – View all The Populist Moment: This system made it impossible for farmers to make a profit or even th out of debt.

People who like history. May 05, Lwarence Graeff rated it liked it. Today, political life in America has once more returned to normal levels of resignation. Each of us, however, should have a commitment to defend that which we believe in the face of inconvenient facts, including those presented in this book.

Thus armed, the Populists attempted to insulate themselves against being intimidated by the enormous political, economic, and social pressures that accompanied the emergence of corporate America.

When we are robed of our means. These premises were reputed to be democratic — America after all was a democratic society in the eyes of most of its own citizens and in the eyes of the world — but farmers by the millions found that this claim was not supported by the events governing their lives. The populists who had seen through this fiction in their own struggles lost the shared platform and ability to influence millions through their homespun civic education which had originally organized these poor farmers into powerful cooperatives.


It is one of the purposes of this book to trace how this happened. Self-organizing from the ground up, Goodwyn shares one of the most honest accounts of American grassroots revolution in a century.

Over the last eight generations, increasingly sophisticated systems of economic organization have developed throughout the western world, spawning factories and factory towns and new forms of corporate centralization and corporate politics. And from this starting point, political movements are possible — especially if times are hard.

The Populist Moment | The D&S Blog

Dec 19, C. Twenty-one lynchings occurred in Louisiana that year, one-fifth of the total for the entire nation. Goodwyn’s concluding essay “The Irony of Populism” is why this book is so important.

Dec 26, Glen Gersmehl rated it it was amazing.

The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America by Lawrence Goodwyn

In America, an important juncture in the political consolidation of the industrial culture came some four generations ago, at the culmination of the Populist moment in the ‘s.

And that’s why it’s worth reading his analysis of what happened. Indeed, the government gained nothing from its frantic efforts, since bankers paid for the bonds with gold they had goodeyn from the Treasury! Afterparty chairman H. This level of political analysis has not yet been reached, despite the theoretical labors of Momemt Smith, Karl Marx, and their sundry disciples and critics.

Needless to say, this is the kind of social circumstance that is not readily apparent to the millions who live within it.

Paperbackpages. Dec 19, Gavin rated it liked it Shelves: The gamble was an unusual one: Attempts to enforce the ordinance led to a gunfight in which two men populjst killed and another wounded.


In fundamental ways, this shaping process which is now quite mature in America bears directly not only upon our ability to grasp the meaning of American Populism, but our ability to understand protest generally and, most important of all, on our ability to comprehend the prerequisites for democracy itself.

In consequence, a mass democratic movement was fashioned. The fatal problem this strategy encountered was lack of credit. And here is where class discussion should begin This book satisfied that part of me.

The Populist revolt — the most elaborate example of mass insurgency we have in American history — provides an abundance of evidence that can be applied in answering this question. The Populist Moment A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America Lawrence Goodwyn This condensed version of Lawrence Goodwyn’s Democratic Promisethe highly-acclaimed study on American Populism which the Civil Liberties Review called “a brilliant, comprehensive study,” offers new political language designed to provide a fresh means of assessing both democracy and authoritarianism today.

Once established inthe People’s Party challenged the corporate state and the creed of progress it put forward. The summary interpretation of these sequential democratic stages is on pp.

The Populist Moment

The hope of the cooperative strategy was that by combining economic forces, farmers could collectively get around the restrictions of the crop lien system, by selling their crops at more favorable prices and by acquiring mmoment and supplies on a cheaper basis.

Goodwyn argues that the socialists who succeeded the populists in making a case for radical democratic reform never understood the importance of developing a positive, genuinely American, cultural vision. For most of my Indiana adolescence I was in love with that William Jennings Bryan speech, “The Cross of Gold,” and I pined hard for the unsettled activist Momeent of the early twentieth century.