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La Elite del Poder

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  706 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Esta obra del brillante sociologo Mills es uno de los primeros intentos logrados de analizar la estructura y configuracion de los altos circulos norteamericanos, de las elites, en donde reside el poder. El autor divide su libro en 15 capitulos, en donde examina, entre otros temas, los altos circulos, la sociedad local, los 400 de Nueva York, las celebridades, los muy ricos ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published by Fondo de Cultura Economica USA (first published 1956)
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Erik Graff
Jan 03, 2015 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in the New Left & the history of American sociology
Recommended to Erik by: Edward Erickson
This book had a profound influence on me and on my generation. I read it no later than 1969, but may have read it as early as 1967. In any case, all of my older, political friends had read it and encouraged me to read it.

Basically, Mills argues that the USA is owned and operated by a very small portion of its population, acting behind the institutional smokescreen of representative politics and elections which they subtantially finance and control. So far as I recall, his major emphasis is in de
Blaise Lucey
A quote that should make you read The Power Elite:

"On the one hand, there is the increased scale and centralization of the structure of decision; and, on the other, the increasingly narrow sorting men into milieu. From both sides, there is the increased dependence upon the formal media of communication, including those of education itself. But the man in the mass does not gain a transcending view from these media; instead he gets his experience stereotyped, and then he gets sunk further by that
Joshua Sauvageau
I just picked this book up on a whim, cynically imagining that, even after 56 years, it may have some salience to the current American political structure. I was not disappointed. Or rather, I was, if only in our body electorate.

Having just finished watching the Zeitgeist Trilogy, perhaps I was primed for a work that many may consider a conspiratorial treatise. I won't deny that I was seeking independent verification of my own hypotheses, but I would be open to reading a counterpoint to this wor
Corbin Routier
The book attempts to describe how power is becoming more centralized in the U.S. between the government, the corporations, the military, and the church. He shows that conspiracy theories are a waste of time. He shows that it is very logical to consolidate power in the way that it is being done (from the viewpoint of those in power). Fewer and fewer people have access to power as those in power start making more and more rules for how to be a part of influential circles. A very good book describi ...more
William Leight
"The Power Elite" hasn't really aged all that well. Not because its arguments are no longer applicable to the modern world, as the rather self-satisfied afterword to my edition asserts, but for precisely the opposite reason: because its main claims have largely graduated to the level of common knowledge. For instance, a significant part of Mills' argument amounts to an extended version of Eisenhower's warning about the rise of the military-industrial complex. Mills doesn't use that particular ph ...more
One of the better books on the subject. Classic text of sociology from the 1950's that still holds true (more or less) today.

Describes the inner circles of power in America in the post-war world with rare insight for the time. Of particular interest is the logic of the mutual exclusive re-enforcement of “right” based solely on money. Common rhetoric now, yet novel then.

Was thinking the other day along these lines why more wealth tends to exclude less wealth.

Why is the person with more money th
Gary Bruff
Mill's masterpiece, this book allows its readers to peer into the shady upper echelons of power in America. Interlocking directorates run the show. This means that the top business executives, the top military officers, and the board members of churches, universities, and other non-profits are the same people--either coming from the same families, or serving in each of these capacities at different times in their careers. This results in among other things the military industrial complex, where ...more
C. Wright Mills' The Power Elite is a worthy classic of social science. Mills analyzes, using interviews, public records, and other sources, the structure, character, and importance of a class he calls 'the power elite,' as they are during the 1950s (in addition to delving briefly into the history that brought them to that state). Mills ascribes the following characteristics and definitions to his power elite:

By dint of their positions in relationship to large, influential institutions (chiefl
Steven Peterson
First published in 1956, this was a classic in sociology at the time. The focus of this book? The American power elite, of whom Mills says (Page 3): "The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make decisions having major consequences." In this volume, Mills seeks to identify the power elite of the United
States at the time.

He notes a variety of venues from which the power elite comes.
Fred R
Not as good as I had hoped, it's more in the line of: "I assemble this information so as to inspire action by the downtrodden masses." It was interesting to me how much political influence he ascribed to the Military, which I don't entirely trust, even given the era the book is analyzing (early Cold War).

The problem for Mills is:

1. Our elite is incompetent
2. Our elite is not democratic enough

Now, there are situations in which both propositions could hold, but as a general rule, and despite their
Much of what Mills covers has already seen light in some other works I have read (Media Monopoly by Bagdikian and most of Chomsky). This does not dilute his message, if anything other publications reinforce and illuminate the basis of this sociological classic, supported with good data. I agree with the afterword by Alan Wolfe except that I believe that Mills in his social criticism (the last half of the book) was not incorrect in calling the bureaucratization of and resulting mindless decisions ...more
Alexandra Chauran
I read this book for my dissertation. It was fascinating. The author has a way with words. Basically this is the dude who invented The Man. Though his rants today might sound like the ramblings of any anti-elite stoner at a party, back in the day this was mind-blowing stuff. If you can put yourself in that headspace when you read the book it's pretty good, humorous, and insightful.
Very interesting book to get an idea about the power structure in the States untıl 60s. As mentioned in the afterwords, the book is short of predicting the dynamic change in the power structure with the new age. The language is not smooth enough yet a good read.
Will Sync
Wow what a terrible writer. The ideas he's trying to convey are brilliant, but he doesn't really have power in his writing. I would suggest "The War State" for clear overview of how/what/when/where/why on this subject. #militaryindustrealcomplex
Mills provides an imaginative depiction of the milieu (which is also his favorite word) of American power in an extremely boring and repetitive style. Some of his arguments are insightful, and some are little more than completely-obvious (although they may not have been in 1956). Although he occasionally strays into the tin-foil arena of argument, the vast majority of his ideas are reasonable if not always insightful.
Leilani & Rich Darling-Linfield
Maddeningly profound insights as to how the Power Elite elevates unqualified people into the highest echelons - no wonder the mass portions of our economy are so weak, uncreative and repetitive, serving a "bewildered herd" of consumers.
This is a book that I wished I had read during college (and not weeks after having a kid). Mills' book is considered a social science classic about 1950s America and the changes that were happening after WWII to society, power, and class. All that was interesting enough, but it's now 60 years old and that dates some of his thoughts and his writing can be dry. In addition, the second half of the book is less observation and more criticism and became even drier such that I will have to admit to ha ...more
I read this a long time ago, but I liked it! I don't remember why. I just have a strongly positive feeling about this book.
Oct 20, 2014 Peter marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by M.N. Moore as "the classic work on this subject" of "the secret government that won't change."
This book ushered in a new intellectual milestone for my collegiate reading experience. I guess I could rightly say that my eyes have been covered for the past 21 years I've lived. A highly condensed and grade appropriate edition should be published for high school Civics classes. A highly condensed and updated version fit to be a supplementary text of any social sciences class should be published for colleges. This assessment of 1950's arrangement of institutional powers that make the decisions ...more
Rolip Saptamaji
buku yang pertama kali dipublikasikan pada 1956 ini menjadi epik bagi para ilmuwan politik. buku klasik ini memeiliki asumsi-asumsi yang tajam mengenai bagaimana kekuatan elit terbentuk di Amerika Serikat (USA), siapa saja mereka dan bagaimana mereka mempertahankan kekuasaannya.
meskipun kajian klasik, model analisis yang diperkenalkan oleh Mills masih dapat digunakan sebagai referensi untuk membongkar kekuasaan elit dan tetap menjadi referensi tandon bagi para ilmuwan politik.
Mills describes the various cross-sections of the American elite. He explores each group’s characteristics, but focuses mostly on the influence they have in decision-making. Mills particularly highlights the close connections between corporate, military and executive power as well as the gridlock of Congressional, representative government. He asserts that most decisions that affect American lives, are made without democratic assent
Mills describes three groups of elite in mid 20c America: the political directorate, the corporate chiefs, and the military generals. The first 10 chapters are a detailed description of the different elite groups, the next 5 chapters are more social criticism of the direction he perceived America to be going in. All of it is very well written and quite applicable to today.
Lisa Taylor
Everything Mills is super fine, but this beats all. This book should be required reading in college, and perhaps assigned several times. It is dense and packed with so much that it takes a second or third read to really absorb it all. Excellent book and my highest recommendation.
Leonard Pierce
Mills' classic text on the meaning of social class and political power in America is dated in some important ways, but it's still an absolutely dead-on look at the way money and 'expertise' shapes our perceptions and conditions us to particular uses of arbitrary authority.
Our society is built up. This is how we can learn to tear it down. Let the madmen reign over us, but we know we can always have this mirror to hold up in self defense. For me, thoughts on society, politics, etc., start here. For a while I called it my bible.
Kirk Kittell
Oct 29, 2014 Kirk Kittell marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Recommended by Seth Godin in Linchpin . ...more
A little dated and some sections are way too breezy, but it's amazing how much this describes the structure of contemporary power. Informs the Occupy movement, even if at third hand.
Tony Torres
How come the head of the Republican Party in my county doesn't go to jail when he is arrested for cocaine possession and domestic abuse? Because he's a member of the Power Elite.
Xiaofei Guo
This book discuss the political structure in American before 1956. Many of the observations in this book stays today in America and also other countries.
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American sociologist. Mills is best remembered for his 1959 book The Sociological Imagination in which he lays out a view of the proper relationship between biography and history, theory and method in sociological scholarship. He is also known for studying the structures of power and class in the U.S. in his book The Power Elite. Mills was concerned with the responsibilities of intellectuals in po ...more
More about C. Wright Mills...
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“Perhaps J. P. Morgan did as a child have very severe feelings of inadequacy, perhaps his father did believe that he would not amount to anything; perhaps this did effect in him an inordinate drive for power for power’s sake. But all this would be quite irrelevant had he been living in a peasant village in India in 1890. If we would understand the very rich we must first understand the economic and political structure of the nation in which they become the very rich.” 5 likes
“Once war was considered the business of soldiers, international relations the concern of diplomats. But now that war has become seemingly total and seemingly permanent, the free sport of kings has become the forced and internecine business of people, and diplomatic codes of honor between nations have collapsed. Peace in no longer serious; only war is serious. Every man and every nation is either friend or foe, and the idea of enmity becomes mechanical, massive, and without genuine passion. When virtually all negotiation aimed at peaceful agreement is likely to be seen as 'appeasement,' if not treason, the active role of the diplomat becomes meaningless; for diplomacy becomes merely a prelude to war an interlude between wars, and in such a context the diplomat is replaced by the warlord.” 3 likes
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