The formation of modern American conservatism has long been a subject of inquiry among historians of American conservatism. These historians have often placed Dr. George S. Benson and the National Education Program (NEP) at the periphery of their explanations for, and understandings of, modern American conservatism. Through the use of Jonathan Herzog’s concept of the spiritual-industrial complex, it becomes possible to place Benson’s work at the nexus of a larger network connecting politically energized plain-folk Americans with the ideology of a nascent conservative movement. The following analysis of films created by Benson and the NEP reveals how the important trajectory of Benson’s own political activity can be understood and explained within the context of the dialectical forces at work. This I.S. studies the films Benson and the NEP created between 1948 and 1972 , presenting them as evidence of Benson’s role as intermediary whom connected plain-folk Americans with business conservatives.


Rapport, Jeremy

Second Advisor

Roche, Jeff


History; Religious Studies


History | History of Religion | Political History | United States History


George S. Benson, National Education Program

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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