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The Conspiracy of Capital

by Michael Mark Cohen

The Conspiracy of Capital Synopsis

Between the 1880s and 1920s, a broad coalition of American dissidents, which included rabble-rousing cartoonists, civil liberties lawyers, socialist detectives, union organizers, and revolutionary martyrs, forged a culture of popular radicalism that directly challenged an emergent corporate capitalism. Monopoly capitalists and their allies in government responded by expanding conspiracy laws and promoting conspiracy theories in an effort to destroy this anti-capitalist movement. The result was an escalating class conflict in which each side came to view the other as a criminal conspiracy. In this detailed cultural history, Michael Mark Cohen argues that a legal, ideological, and representational politics of conspiracy contributed to the formation of a genuinely revolutionary mass culture in the United States, starting with the 1886 Haymarket bombing. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, The Conspiracy of Capital offers a new history of American radicalism and the alliance between the modern business corporation and national security state through a comprehensive reassessment of the role of conspiracy laws and conspiracy theories in American social movements.

The Conspiracy of Capital Press Reviews

As the subtitle suggests, [Cohen's] ambitious, well-documented study explores the nexus between law, violence, and popular radicalism in an era when near-monopolistic conditions prevailed in the battle between labor and capital. --CHOICE Cohen draws upon a strong archival base and an impressively wide range of texts to provide an illuminating analysis of how the politics of conspiracy was central to this era's culture of popular radicalism. --Shelley Streeby, author of Radical Sensations: World Movements, Violence, and Visual Culture

Book Information

ISBN: 9781625344007
Publication date: 30th July 2019
Author: Michael Mark Cohen
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: Social classes, History, History of the Americas,

About Michael Mark Cohen

Michael Mark Cohen is associate teaching professor in American studies and African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

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