Power Structure

Power Structure : Political Process in American Society

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Product details

  • Hardback | 532 pages
  • 140 x 220mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0195000862
  • 9780195000863

Review Text

The question of who holds power in America has become a passionate debate amongst various political extremists, whether they be Birchers, black militants, or the motley group known as the New Left. The controversy generates more heat than light, so perhaps the assiduously dry, scientifically detached style of Professor Rose is to be welcomed. But surely only other academic sociologists can summon up interest while reading this vast, footnote-spangled study. Professor Rose is for the "multi-influence hypothesis" as distinguished from the "economic-elite-dominance hypothesis." Translated this means that the professor sees no real concentration of power in the hands of a few, but rather many different parties exercising political pressure at many different levels of influence or direction. Thus, C. Wright Mills' famous designation of a monolithic, cold war establishment, the so-called military-industrial complex forming all basic socio-political policies, is viewed as a simplistic conspiratorial idea, operationally vague, statistically elusive. Mills, says Rose, "has little understanding of how politics works." Buttressing his position, Rose investigates labor and business associations, congressional conflicts, Medicare, the Kennedy campaign, and "mass society", showing in exhausting detail how our built-in counteracting processes largely prevent any oligarchic take-over or manipulation. (Kirkus Reviews)show more