C. Wright Mills

(Charles Wright Mills)

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  • Born: August 28, 1916
  • Died: March 20, 1962
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Political Sociologist









Charles Wright Mills was an American sociologist, and a professor of sociology at Columbia University from 1946 until his death in 1962. Mills was published widely in popular and intellectual journals, and is remembered for several books such as The Power Elite, which introduced that term and describes the relationships and class alliances among the US political, military, and economic elites; White Collar: The American Middle Classes, on the American middle class; and The Sociological Imagination, which presents a model of analysis for the interdependence of subjective experiences within a person's biography, the general social structure, and historical development.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
America is a nation with no truly national city, no Paris, no Rome, no London, no city which is at once the social center, the political capital, and the financial hub. Miscellaneous
Democracy requires that those who bear the consequences of decisions have enough knowledge to hold the decision-makers accountable. Democracies & Republics
For the first time in American history, men in authority are talking about an emergency without a foreseeable end. Such men as these are crackpot realists: In the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own. Defense & National Security
Men are free to make history. History
No one can be truly powerful unless he has access to the command of major institutions, for it is over these institutional means of power that the truly powerful are, in the first instance, truly powerful... Power
Not wishing to be disturbed over moral issues of the political economy, Americans cling to the notion that the government is a sort of automatic machine, regulated by the balancing of competing interests. Government ;Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Power has to do with whatever decisions men make about the arrangements under which they live and about the events which make up the history of their times. Power
We now live not in an economic order or a political order, but in a political economy that is closely linked with military institutions and decisions. Military & Veterans
Every revolution has its counterrevolution - that is a sign the revolution is for real.
In the world of the celebrity, the hierarchy of publicity has replaced the hierarchy of descent and even of great wealth.
Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both. Society ;Life ;History
People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages.
Power is not of a man. Wealth does not center in the person of the wealthy. Celebrity is not inherent in any personality. To be celebrated, to be wealthy, to have power requires access to major institutions. Power ;Fame
Prestige is the shadow of money and power. Power ;Money, Coins & Minting
The nearest the modern general or admiral comes to a small-arms encounter of any sort is at a duck hunt in the company of corporation executives at the retreat of Continental Motors, Inc.
The principal cause of war is war itself. War & Peace
What ordinary men are directly aware of and what they try to do are bounded by the private orbits in which they live; their visions and their powers are limited.