Considering the fall of Cold War communism and other notable events of the second half of the 20th century, C. Wright Mills' The Power Elitestill seems to holds up on several points as read in the year 2002.Charles Mills died in 1962 at the age of 46 as a distinguished professor of sociology. He was a pragmatist and he was always concerned with real world problems.
His writing style and attitude seems somewhat bitter today but I suppose the truth as he saw it was pretty dismal. In the excerpt from the book, he comes to a seemingly abrupt logical conclusion that there is no large-scale conspiracy by the power elite of America. In the unabridged version of The Power Elite he probably develops the reasoning more methodically.
I believe his conclusion is correct, however I think it would have been interesting to get his take on events such as the Kennedy assassination – if he had only lived to see it and the contradictory ballistic evidence such as the Zapruder documentary film. I think he may have viewed the Kennedy assasination as an attempt by the military industrial complex to quell a politically popular leader who overstepped his bounds on various social issues of the day. In the veryfirst paragraph Mills makes his opinion and frustration clear as"men and women of the mass society . . . are without power".
Right away it puts me in the mind of 1980s Berkeley Marxists and their resentment of capitalism and American party politics. This type of writing is poignant in its humanism but a bit dated especially by 21st Century writing styles. His revulsion toward socio-economic strata and capitalist inequity reveal his idealism. His careful analysis of social and political influence from the 1950s, I believe, holds true today: "[celebrities] . .
. do often have the power to distract the attention of the public or afford sensations to the masses . . . to gain the ear of those who do occupy positions of power.