Manual Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy

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Nace opens with a succinct account of how General Motors and a handful of other giant corporations helped engineer the eclipse of America's electric streetcar system in the 's and 40's. But, thankfully, this is not another catalog of corporate conspiracies and corruption.


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Instead, Mr. Nace is curious about how corporations -- those merely imaginary constructions of legal paperwork -- acquired their power and rights. His research took him deep into the archives of the 14th Amendment, at least as important for corporate Americans as it was for African-Americans.

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He dusts off some shocking but largely forgotten discoveries about the Supreme Court case that is the Rosetta stone of corporate law. And he examines the little-noticed contributions to corporate power made by Lewis F.


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Powell Jr. Nace writes.

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Powell drafted a memorandum for the United States Chamber of Commerce warning that free enterprise was fighting for its life against passionate antibusiness forces in American society. Powell wrote just three decades ago.

CORPORATE POWER V STATE POWER - KJ Vids

He added, ''One does not exaggerate to say that, in terms of political influence with respect to the course of legislation and government action, the American business executive is truly the 'forgotten man. How we got from there to the point where energy executives are intimately involved in the drafting of American energy policy is just one of the fresh strands of historical evidence woven into Mr. Nace's story. Of course, there are flaws, two of them fairly serious. Nace almost entirely ignores the American shareholder.

Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy

He approaches corporations as ''them,'' separate and threatening. In fact, in the spirit of Pogo, the Walt Kelly cartoon character, we must increasingly say that we have met the corporation and it is us. Nace also slights the contributions the corporate form has made to average Americans' prosperity -- aside from a whimsical acknowledgment that ''this book owes its existence to a computer made by Toshiba Corp. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History.

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