Money and Power: America's Greatest Families

Americans, like Australians, like to see themselves as egalitarian. In reality, some great families exercise more power in business, politics and the entertainment industry than many of the great families of England and Europe. In some families, wealth has led to political as well as economic power; in others, the reverse. We will see how the two come together in a number of America’s great families, including the ‘Three Rs’ – the Rockefellers, the Roosevelts, and the Rothschilds – and how their influence lives on through family philanthropic foundations.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

SUGGESTED READING

  • Gore Vidal’s Great American Families (1977) is a good introduction, and books have been written about most of the 25 or so families discussed in the course. There’s lots of material online, too.

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Wealth, power and religion in the formation of American dynasties. The Adams and the Kennedys
  • Media and entertainment: the Hearsts, the Murdochs, the Barrymores et al
  • Politics: the Roosevelts. the Bushes, the Trumps et al
  • Business and industry: the Rothschilds, the Fords, the Waltons et al
  • Railway barons: the Goulds, the Vanderbilts et al
  • Oil magnates: the Kochs, the Rockefellers et al. The ‘myth’ of egalitarianism.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Recognise the role of inherited wealth in American political life.
  2. Identify the most significant of America’s numerous ‘dynasties’.
  3. Discuss the relations between wealth and power in Western societies, including Australia.
$198 Limited / $178

<p>Americans, like Australians, like to see themselves as egalitarian. In reality, some great families exercise more power in business, politics and the entertainment industry than many of the great

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31 Jan

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