Thorstein Veblen is best known for his authorship of The Theory of the Leisure Class and The Theory of Business Enterprise, which made him a celebrated figure in the fields of economics and sociology at the turn of the twentieth century. In this book, Sidney Plotkin and Rick Tilman argue that in addition to his well-known work in these fields Veblen also made important-and until now overlooked-statements about politics.
While Veblen's writings seldom mention politics, they are saturated with political ideas: about the relationship among war, executive power, and democracy; about the similarities between modern executive positions and monarchy; about the political influence of corporate power; about the symbolism of politics; and about many other issues. By demonstrating the deep relevance of Veblen's writings to today's political troubles, The Political Ideas of Thorstein Veblen offers an important reconsideration of a major American thinker.
Sidney Plotkin is professor of political science at Vassar College. Rick Tilman is professor emeritus of public administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Each has served as president of the International Thorstein Veblen Association.