Lobbying in America is older than the nation, and shaped everything from colonial taxes to the text of the Constitution. But recently lobbying has become far more pervasive. The Hagley Museum and Library welcomed Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse for his Author Talk, “Lobbying: The Business of Politics and the Politics of Business in America,” on November 20th 2014. In is talk, Dr. Waterhouse described the important changes in how lobbyists got their way (and sometimes didn’t) in Washington, D.C., in the mid and late 20th century.
This Hagley Author Talk was based upon Dr. Waterhouse’s recently published book, Lobbying America: The Politics of Business from Nixon to NAFTA (Princeton University Press, 2014). Lobbying America explores the role that large, national business associations—and their lobbyists—played in shaping economic policy and conservative politics between the 1960s and the 1990s. For his book, Dr. Waterhouse made extensive use of the collections at Hagley Library. To learn more please follow the links to these resources: National Association of Manufacturers Archives, Philip Reed Papers, and United States Chamber of Commerce Archives.
Benjamin C. Waterhouse is assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Waterhouse studies American politics, political culture, and capitalism in the 20th century. He is interested in contests between economic groups, including business, labor, and the political class, and how the relationships among them shaped the broader contours of the American political tradition and American economic development.