Amy Wallhermfechtel


B.S., Education, Chadron State College

Year Matriculated into Graduate Program:
Fall 2004

Graduate Field:
United States History

20th Century Labor History, Policy History, History of Conservatism, History of Social Movements, 19th and 20th Century Empires and Imperialism, Women's History

Dissertation and Advisor
Dissertation: Cecil B. DeMille and the Right to Work

Abstract: My dissertation analyzes the post-World War II campaigns for the 'right-to-work' through the lens of the Cecil B. DeMille Foundation for Political Freedom. The DeMille Foundation's work provide a unique perspective on how anticommunism, fears of corruption, opposition to the New Deal, and attempts to reposition private enterprise firmly at the center of the American economy all intersected in right-to-work campaigns against closed and union shops. A complete understanding of the development of post-war conservatism requires attention to campaigns against unionism and the ideological bases on which they depended. The DeMille Foundation attempted to organize grassroots public support for an issue primarily of interest to businessmen. In so doing, it's synthesis of anticommunism, anti-corruption, anti-New Deal and free enterprise ideas became part of the conservative lexicon and helped delegitimize organized labor.

Advisor: Donald T. Critchlow

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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