Capitalism and Democracy: The Lessons of the Marshall Plan


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars




For residence at the National Humanities Center during academic year 2006-2007


The Marshall Plan is well known as a diplomatic and economic initiative by which the United States rebuilt Western Europe after World War II. The Marshall Plan was also an unprecedented cultural campaign, nurtured by the imperatives of the Cold War, that initiated an international conversation with Europe about citizenship, and especially about the relationship between consumer capitalism and democracy which has been reopened since the collapse of communism in 1989. This full-scale study comparing the cases of France, Germany, and England reconstructs the cultural history of the Marshall Plan in order to shed new light on these controversies over democracy in Europe from 1945 to the present.