Rustics and Politics: The Political Theory of The Beverly Hillbillies

Rustics and Politics: The Political Theory of The Beverly Hillbillies

by Leslie Dale Feldman

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Overview

The Beverly Hillbillies includes the portrayal of rich versus poor, the American dream, wealth, and social mobility in popular culture. The Hillbillies was a phenomenon of post-World War II America, the second wave after the 1950s, the dustbelt Depression meets the promise of opportunity achieved through luck. Luck counts in liberal society. It is, said Machiavelli, “the arbiter of half of what we do.” But is success based on luck really the American dream? And who is the bigger success story—the Hillbillies or those who have earned their wealth? Whom do we want to be or be like? Everyone wants to win the lottery, but is everyone willing to do what it takes to achieve financial independence without winning the lottery? Does winning the lottery bring social status or can it only be achieved by labor?

In sum, Paul Henning’s brilliant comedy series The Beverly Hillbillies is replete with political ideas and has come to occupy a special place in popular culture as a classic television icon because of its deeper meaning and relationship to how we think about wealth, status, social mobility and the American dream.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498525596
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 198
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Leslie Dale Feldman is professor of political science at Hofstra University.

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Intro

Chapter 1: Labor

Chapter 2: The Class War—in Beverly Hills?

Chapter 3: Happiness is Just a thing called Jed

Chapter 4: The Beverly Hillbillies and the American Dream

Conclusion
The Clampett Curse
The Lottery

Episode Guide
Bibliography

Customer Reviews