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Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism
by Dana Frank
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0807047112, Paperback)When U.S. citizens were urged to "buy American" in the early 1930s in order to boost the national economy, African American thinkers such as Robert Abbott were quick to point out the irony: "Certainly we'll buy America first," he wrote, and went on to list the many products he'd now be buying--like steak dinner in a restaurant and theater tickets--which he had never been allowed to buy because of segregation laws. Not all Americans were as savvy as Abbott, however, and a tradition of "economic nationalism" that excluded from free trade almost as many within the borders of the United States as it did without enjoyed some success in those years, as it had in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Post-segregation, "Buy American" has become, among other things, an empty slogan for businesses who wish to appeal to patriotic sensibilities (like Wal-Mart, which just happens to also have "Buy Canadian" and "Buy Mexican" campaigns for its stores in those countries). In Buy American, Dana Frank advocates a "celebration" of the democratic ideal of such economic movements while refocusing the idea of "protectionism" to boost not simply corporate profits but the global interests of working people. This book is ripe with ideas, and so engagingly written that even chapters on 18th-century trade wars and 19th-century tariffs make for lively reading. --Maria Dolan
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:27 -0400)
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