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Reconsidering Gabriel Kolko: A Half-Century Perspective
By Robert L. Bradley Jr.
Roger Donway

This article appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review


Historian Gabriel Kolko argued that the “progressive” reforms of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries came about because titans of big business worked with their political counterparts to promote regulations to tame smaller business rivals and to stave off threats from antibusiness political movements. Kolko successfully challenged the simplistic Progressive interpretation of American history, but his thesis is marred by his invalid conception of “political capitalism,” his failure to apply methodological individualism, and his surprisingly weak evidence—shortcomings that warrant a reappraisal of his work, especially by libertarians who believe Kolko’s work helps support the case for laissez-faire.

Other Independent Review articles by Robert L. Bradley Jr.
    Summer 2010   Capitalism, Socialism, and the “Middle Way”: A Taxonomy

Other Independent Review articles by Roger Donway
    Summer 2010   Capitalism, Socialism, and the “Middle Way”: A Taxonomy

Volume 17 Number 4
Spring 2013

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