Big government is often attacked. In the 1960s and 1970s, social advocates like Ralph Nader and Rachel Carson led the charge in the form of public interest groups. While they disrupted a number of government plans, some unintended consequences emerged: the undermining of big government liberalism, which is the alliance between government, business, and labor.
A book by academic and author Paul Sabin traces the history of the public interest movement, showing the ways in which American liberalism has been at war with itself. "Public Citizens: The Attack on Big Government and the Remaking of American Liberalism" is available now through W.W. Norton and wherever else you find books.
Sabin is professor of history and American studies at Yale University where he teaches U.S. environmental history; energy politics; and political, legal, and economic history.