Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American Thought by Howard BrickTranscending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American Thought by Howard Brick

Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American Thought

byHoward Brick

Paperback | April 7, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$42.88 online 
$44.95 list price
Earn 214 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Transcending Capitalism explains why many influential midcentury American social theorists came to believe it was no longer meaningful to describe modern Western society as "capitalist," but instead preferred alternative terms such as "postcapitalist," "postindustrial," or "technological." Considering the discussion today of capitalism and its global triumph, it is important to understand why a prior generation of social theorists imagined the future of advanced societies not in a fixed capitalist form but in some course of development leading beyond capitalism.

Howard Brick locates this postcapitalist vision within a long history of social theory and ideology. He challenges the common view that American thought and culture utterly succumbed in the 1940s to a conservative cold war consensus that put aside the reform ideology and social theory of the early twentieth century. Rather, expectations of the shift to a new social economy persisted and cannot be disregarded as one of the elements contributing to the revival of dissenting thought and practice in the 1960s.

Rooted in a politics of social liberalism, this vision held influence for roughly a half century, from its interwar origins until the right turn in American political culture during the 1970s and 1980s. In offering a historically based understanding of American postcapitalist thought, Brick also presents some current possibilities for reinvigorating critical social thought that explores transitional developments beyond capitalism.

Howard Brick is Professor and Louis Evans Chair in U.S. History at the University of Michigan.
Title:Transcending Capitalism: Visions of a New Society in Modern American ThoughtFormat:PaperbackDimensions:9.25 × 6.13 × 0.27 inPublished:April 7, 2015Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801499046

ISBN - 13:9780801499043

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Introduction. To Name a New Society in the Making

1. Capitalism and Its Future on the Eve of World War I

2. The American Theory of Organized Capitalism

3. The Interwar Critique of Competitive Individualism

4. Talcott Parsons and the Evanescence of Capitalism

5. The Displacement of Economy in an Age of Plenty

6. The Heyday of Dynamic Sociology

7. The Great Reversal

Conclusion. On Transitional Developments beyond Capitalism


Editorial Reviews

"Transcending Capitalism is an important analysis of a major dimension of twentieth-century social thought: the expectation and hope that modern capitalism was in the process of transformation to a more socialized form of economic system. Howard Brick displays a remarkable ability to deal in clear language with complex, sophisticated topics. This book has analytical rigor and critical bite."—Dorothy Ross, The Johns Hopkins University