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How Local Politics Shape Federal PolicyBusiness, Power, and the Environment in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles$
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Sarah S. Elkind

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834893

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869116_elkind

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Introduction Business Interests, Special Interests, and the Public Interest

Introduction Business Interests, Special Interests, and the Public Interest

(p.1) Introduction Business Interests, Special Interests, and the Public Interest
How Local Politics Shape Federal Policy

Sarah S. Elkind

University of North Carolina Press

This book begins with a discussion of the local business organizations in American cities, which have enjoyed the greatest legitimacy and influence among all interest groups. Chambers of commerce, merchants and manufacturers organizations, realty boards, and a myriad of smaller organizations made up of prominent business leaders have enjoyed political influence out of proportion to their numbers or economic importance. In fact, these groups enjoyed such political legitimacy during the mid-twentieth century that they were rarely described as special interests at all. The central question of the book is how this type of organization secured its special status in local politics and how that status was transcribed into national politics in the second quarter of the twentieth century.

Keywords:   local business organizations, American cities, legitimacy, influence, interest groups

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