american maelstrom the 1968 election and the politics of division pivotal moments in american history

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American Maelstrom

Author : Michael A. Cohen
ISBN : 9780199382125
Genre : History
File Size : 42. 40 MB
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In his presidential inaugural address of January 1965, Lyndon Johnson offered an uplifting vision for America, one that would end poverty and racial injustice. Elected in a landslide over the conservative Republican Barry Goldwater and bolstered by the so-called liberal consensus, economic prosperity, and a strong wave of nostalgia for his martyred predecessor, John Kennedy, Johnson announced the most ambitious government agenda in decades. Three years later, everything had changed. Johnson's approval ratings had plummeted; the liberal consensus was shattered; the war in Vietnam splintered the nation; and the politics of civil rights had created a fierce white backlash. A report from the National Committee for an Effective Congress warned of a "national nervous breakdown." The election of 1968 was immediately caught up in a swirl of powerful forces, and the nine men who sought the nation's highest office that year attempted to ride them to victory-or merely survive them. On the Democratic side, Eugene McCarthy energized the anti-war movement; George Wallace spoke to the working-class white backlash; Robert Kennedy took on the mantle of his slain brother. Entangled in Vietnam, Johnson, stunningly, opted not to run again, scrambling the odds. On the Republican side, 1968 saw the vindication of Richard Nixon, who outhustled Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan and George Romney, by navigating between the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party. The assassinations of first Martin Luther King, Jr., and then Kennedy seemed to push the country to the brink of chaos, a chaos reflected in the Democratic Convention in Chicago, a televised horror show. Vice President Hubert Humphrey emerged as the nominee, and, finally liberating himself from Johnson's grip, nearly overcame the lead long enjoyed by Nixon who, by exploiting division and channeling the national yearning for order, would be the last man standing. In American Maelstrom, Michael A. Cohen captures the full drama of this watershed election, establishing 1968 as the hinge between the decline of political liberalism, the ascendancy of conservative populism, and the rise of anti-government attitudes that continue to dominate the nation's political discourse. In this sweeping and immersive book, equal parts compelling analysis and thrilling narrative, Cohen takes us to the very source of our modern politics of division.

1968

Author : Lewis L. Gould
ISBN : 9781566639101
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 90 MB
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The race for the White House in 1968 was a watershed event in American politics. In this brilliantly succinct narrative analysis, Lewis L. Gould shows how the events of that tumultuous year changed the way Americans felt about politics and their national leaders; how Republicans used the skills they brought to Richard Nixon's campaign to create a generation-long ascendancy in presidential politics; and how Democrats, divided and torn after 1968, emerged as only crippled challengers for the White House throughout most of the years until the early twenty-first century. Bitterness over racial issues and the Vietnam War that marked the 1968 election continued to shape national affairs and to rile American society for years afterward. And the election accelerated an erosion of confidence in American institutions that has not yet reached a conclusion. In his lucid account, now revised and updated, Mr. Gould emphasizes the importance of race as the campaign's key issue and examines the now infamous "October surprises" of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon as he describes the extraordinary events of what Eugene McCarthy later called the "Hard Year."

Treason

Author : Don Fulsom
ISBN : 9781455619504
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 84. 66 MB
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“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

—Oath of Office of the President of the United States

Right hand held high, Richard M. Nixon was sworn into the office he had already betrayed. In the months before the 1968 election, Nixon and his allies—including the “Dragon Lady” Anna Chennault and Henry Kissinger—collaborated with foreign nationals to undermine Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in order to curry public favor for Nixon and his secret plan to bring an end to the Vietnam War. Nixon’s sabotage extended the brutal conflict, ultimately costing thousands of lives. This incisive account reveals the true Nixon and shakes the fundamental trust we place in our leaders.


Politics Without Stories

Author : David Ricci
ISBN : 9781316764435
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 73. 17 MB
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Liberal candidates, scholars, and activists mainly promote pragmatism rather than large and powerful narratives - which may be called 'alpha stories' for their commanding presence over time. Alternatively, conservative counterparts to such liberals tend to promote their policy preferences in alpha stories praising effective markets, excellent traditions, and limited government. In this face-off, liberals represent a post-Enlightenment world where many modern people, following Max Weber, are 'disenchanted', while many conservatives, echoing Edmund Burke, cherish stories borrowed from the past. Politics without Stories describes this storytelling gap as an electoral disadvantage for liberals because their campaigning lacks, and will continue to lack, the inspiration and shared commitments that great, long-term stories can provide. Therefore, Ricci argues that, for tactical purposes, liberals should concede their post-Enlightenment skepticism and rally around short-term stories designed to frame, in political campaigns, immediate situations which they regard as intolerable. These may help liberals win elections and influence the course of modern life.

Bobby Kennedy

Author : Larry Tye
ISBN : 9780679645207
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 51. 99 MB
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Satchel comes an in-depth, vibrant, and measured biography about the most complex and controversial member of the Kennedy family. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure. To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates—including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory opinions means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood. Bobby Kennedy’s transformation from cold warrior to fiery liberal is a profoundly moving personal story that also offers a lens onto two of the most chaotic and confounding decades of twentieth-century American history. The first half of RFK’s career underlines what the country was like in the era of Eisenhower, while his last years as a champion of the underclass reflect the seismic shifts wrought by the 1960s. Nurtured on the rightist orthodoxies of his dynasty-building father, Bobby Kennedy began his public life as counsel to the red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. He ended it with a noble campaign to unite working-class whites with poor blacks and Latinos in an electoral coalition that seemed poised to redraw the face of presidential politics. Along the way, he turned up at the center of every event that mattered, from the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis to race riots and Vietnam. Bare-knuckle operative, cynical White House insider, romantic visionary—Bobby Kennedy was all of these things at one time or another, and each of these aspects of his personality emerges in the pages of this powerful and perceptive new biography. Praise for Bobby Kennedy “We are in Larry Tye’s debt for bringing back to life the young presidential candidate who . . . for a brief moment, almost half a century ago, instilled hope for the future in angry, fearful Americans.”—David Nasaw, The New York Times Book Review “Sweeping . . . [Tye] captures RFK’s rise and fall with straightforward prose bolstered by impressive research. Along with hundreds of interviews with Kennedy intimates, including his widow, Ethel, Tye sifted through unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and boxes of Kennedy papers that had been locked away for some forty years.”—USA Today “Tye (“Superman”) shows how RFK was not always the progressive hero but a work in progress—after all, Kennedy worked for Joseph McCarthy for a spell. Tye’s pages on the assassination are heart-wrenching.”—New York Post “This biography will appeal not only to those wanting a portrait of a dynamic idealist, but also to those seeking to understand the emotions of the times in which he lived.”—Henry A. Kissinger

Prisoners Of Hope

Author : Randall B. Woods
ISBN : 9780465098712
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 52. 82 MB
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President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society was breathtaking in its scope and dramatic in its impact. Over the course of his time in office, Johnson passed over one thousand pieces of legislation designed to address an extraordinary array of social issues. Poverty and racial injustice were foremost among them, but the Great Society included legislation on issues ranging from health care to immigration to education and environmental protection. But while the Great Society was undeniably ambitious, it was by no means perfect. In Prisoners of Hope, prize-winning historian Randall B. Woods presents the first comprehensive history of the Great Society, exploring both the breathtaking possibilities of visionary politics, as well as its limits. Soon after becoming president, Johnson achieved major legislative victories with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But he wasn’t prepared for the substantial backlash that ensued. Community Action Programs were painted as dangerously subversive, at worst a forum for minority criminals and at best a conduit through which the federal government and the inner city poor could bypass the existing power structure. Affirmative action was rife with controversy, and the War on Poverty was denounced by conservatives as the cause of civil disorder and disregard for the law. As opposition, first from white conservatives, but then also some liberals and African Americans, mounted, Johnson was forced to make a number of devastating concessions in order to secure the future of the Great Society. Even as many Americans benefited, millions were left disappointed, from suburban whites to the new anti-war left to African Americans. The Johnson administration’s efforts to draw on aspects of the Great Society to build a viable society in South Vietnam ultimately failed, and as the war in Vietnam descended into quagmire, the president’s credibility plummeted even further. A cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of even well-intentioned policy, Prisoners of Hope offers a nuanced portrait of America’s most ambitious—and controversial—domestic policy agenda since the New Deal.

Ike And Dick

Author : Jeffrey Frank
ISBN : 9781416588207
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 23. 82 MB
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Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon had a political and private relationship that lasted nearly twenty years, a tie that survived hurtful slights, tense misunderstandings, and the distance between them in age and temperament. Yet the two men brought out the best and worst in each other, and their association had important consequences for their respective presidencies. In Ike and Dick, Jeffrey Frank rediscovers these two compelling figures with the sensitivity of a novelist and the discipline of a historian. He offers a fresh view of the younger Nixon as a striving tactician, as well as the ever more perplexing person that he became. He portrays Eisenhower, the legendary soldier, as a cold, even vain man with a warm smile whose sound instincts about war and peace far outpaced his understanding of the changes occurring in his own country. Eisenhower and Nixon shared striking characteristics: high intelligence, cunning, and an aversion to confrontation, especially with each other. Ike and Dick, informed by dozens of interviews and deep archival research, traces the path of their relationship in a dangerous world of recurring crises as Nixon’s ambitions grew and Eisenhower was struck by a series of debilitating illnesses. And, as the 1968 election cycle approached and the war in Vietnam roiled the country, it shows why Eisenhower, mortally ill and despite his doubts, supported Nixon’s final attempt to win the White House, a change influenced by a family matter: his grandson David’s courtship of Nixon’s daughter Julie—teenagers in love who understood the political stakes of their union.

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