Populism

by James M. Youngdale
Publisher:
Release Date: 1975
Genre: Populism
Pages: 220 pages
ISBN 13:
ISBN 10: UOM:39015008398425
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"Populism, according to Dr. James Youngsdale, was a pivotal force in the watershed separating nineteenth-century petty capitalism and laissez-faire liberalism from twentieth-century progressivism. It was not, Youngsdale asserts, "merely a heightened expression of middle-class disillusionment and rebelliousness," as Richard Hofstadter contends; nor was it "a glorious chapter in the struggle for human rights," as Norman Pollack idealizes it. Youngsdale's own view of populism as reflecting a shift in social and economic attitudes is in the vein of William Appleman Williams' interpretation of American history. Extending from the Civil War through the 1930s, Dr. Youngsdale's study focuses on the developments in the upper midwestern states, particularly the rise of the Minnesota Farmer Labor Party, "the most significant and successful attempt" to organize a populist third party movement in the United States. But this book is more than a forceful and thoroughgoing study of populism. It is equally an exposition of the author's theory of history as a process of "overlapping paradigms." From a synthesis of Thomas Kuhn's concept of paradigm revolutions and Alfred Adler's goal-oriented psychology, Dr. Youngdale proposes a new version of psychohistory that sees people striving for psychic homeostasis in a world of competing paradigms. Capable of a broad application, this model is offered particularly as a needed methodology for the field of American studies."--Jacket.
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