Search - List of Books by Gabriel Kolko
Gabriel Kolko (born August 17, 1932) is an American historian and author.
Total Books: 39
Kolko was born in Paterson, New Jersey, attended Kent State University (B.A. 1954) and the University of Wisconsin (M.S. 1955), married Joyce Manning in 1955, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1962. Following graduation he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at SUNY-Buffalo. He joined the York University History Department in 1970 and is now an emeritus professor of history there.
Kolko's research interests include American political history, the Progressive Era, and foreign policy in the twentieth century.
Kolko was considered a leading historian of the early New Left, joining William Appleman Williams and James Weinstein in advancing the corporate liberalism idea whereby the old Progressive historiography of the "interests" versus the "people" was reinterpreted as a collaboration of interests aiming towards stabilizing competition [Novick, 439]. According to Grob and Billias, "Kolko believed that large-scale units turned to government regulation precisely because of their inefficiency" and that the "Progressive movement - far from being antibusiness - was actually a movement that defined the general welfare in terms of the well-being of business" [Grob and Billias, 38]. Kolko, in particular, broke new ground with his critical history of the Progressive Era. He discovered that free enterprise and competition were vibrant and expanding during the first two decades of the twentieth century; meanwhile, corporations reacted to the free market by turning to government to protect their inherent inefficiency from the discipline of market conditions. This behavior is known as corporatism, but Kolko dubbed it "political capitalism." Kolko's thesis "that businessmen favored government regulation because they feared competition and desired to forge a government-business coalition" is one that is echoed by many observers today [Grob and Billias, 39]. Former Harvard professor Paul H. Weaver uncovered the same inefficient and bureaucratic behavior from corporations during his stint at Ford Motor Corporation (see Weaver's The Suicidal Corporation  ).
Gabriel Kolko is also an important contributor to the historiography of the Vietnam War. In The Roots of American Foreign Policy (1969), Kolko contended that the American failure to 'win' the war demonstrated the inapplicability of the US policy of containment. Later, in The Anatomy of a War (1985), Kolko became, along with writers such as George Kahin, a leading writer of the postrevisionist, or synthesis, school, which suggested, among other things, that the revisionist school was wrong in speculating that the United States could have won the war.
Kolko's wife Joyce has been a collaborator in his writings, e.g. on The Politics of War and The Limits of Power.