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

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American Maelstrom

Author : Michael Cohen
ISBN : 9780199777563
Genre : Presidents
File Size : 70. 36 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.

Roosevelt S Second Act

Author : Richard Moe
ISBN : 9780199981915
Genre : History
File Size : 73. 88 MB
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Discusses President Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to defy one hundred fifty years of tradition and seek a third term in office.


Author : Lewis L. Gould
ISBN : 9781566639101
Genre : History
File Size : 72. 17 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."

Bobby Kennedy

Author : Larry Tye
ISBN : 9780679645207
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 80. 93 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. 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 “Bobby Kennedy, who was assassinated during his 1968 presidential campaign, is remembered for his antiwar stance and for standing up for civil rights and against poverty. But 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 From the Hardcover edition.

Prisoners Of Hope

Author : Randall B. Woods
ISBN : 0465050964
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 65. 14 MB
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"In Prisoners of Hope, prize-winning historian Randall Woods presents the first comprehensive history of the Great Society, exploring both the breathtaking possibilities of politics, as well as the limits of liberalism. During his first two years in office, Johnson passed a host of historic liberal legislation as part of his Great Society campaign, from the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act to the 1964 Food Stamp Act, Medicare, and Medicaid. But Johnson's ambitious vision for constructing a better, stronger America contained within it the seeds of the program's own destruction. A consummate legislator, Johnson controlled Congress like no president before or since. But as Woods shows, Johnson faced mounting resistance to his legislative initiatives after the 1966 midterm elections, and not always from the Southern whites who are typically thought to have been his opponents. As white opposition to his policies mounted, Johnson was forced to make a number of devastating concessions in order to secure the passage of further Great Society legislation. Even as Americans benefited from the Great Society, millions were left disappointed, from suburban whites to the new anti-war left to urban blacks. Their disillusionment would help give rise to powerful new factions in both the Democratic and Republican parties. The issues addressed by Lyndon Johnson and his cohort remain before the American people today, as we've witnessed in the fight for Obamacare, the racial unrest in St. Louis and Baltimore, and the bitter debate over immigration. As Prisoners of Hope tragically demonstrates, America is still fundamentally at war over the legacy of the Great Society"--

The End Of White Christian America

Author : Robert P. Jones
ISBN : 9781501122330
Genre : History
File Size : 55. 59 MB
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New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), challenges us to grasp the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality—that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation. For most of our nation’s history, White Christian America (WCA)—the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians—set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But especially since the 1990s, WCA has steadily lost influence, following declines within both its mainline and evangelical branches. Today, America is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white Christian nation. Drawing on more than four decades of polling data, The End of White Christian America explains and analyzes the waning vitality of WCA. Jones argues that the visceral nature of today’s most heated issues—the vociferous arguments around same-sex marriage and religious liberty, the rise of the Tea Party following the election of our first black president, and stark disagreements between black and white Americans over the fairness of the criminal justice system—can only be understood against the backdrop of white Christians’ anxieties as America’s racial and religious topography shifts around them. In 2016 and beyond, the descendants of WCA will lack the political power they once had to set the terms of the nation’s debate over values and morals and to determine election outcomes. Looking ahead, Jones forecasts the ways that they might adjust to find their place in the new America—and the consequences for us all if they don’t.

Witness To The Revolution

Author : Clara Bingham
ISBN : 0812993187
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 59 MB
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"During the academic calendar year of 1969 and 1970, there were 9000 protests and 84 acts of arson or bombings at schools across the country. Two and a half million students went on strike, and 700 colleges shut down. Witness to a Revolution, Clara Bingham's oral history of that year, brings readers into this moment when it seemed that everything was about to change, when the anti-war movement could no longer be written off as fringe, and when America seemed on the brink of a revolution at home, even as it continued to fight a long war abroad. This unique oral history of the late 1960s tells of the most dramatic events of the day in the words of those closest to the action--activists, organizers, criminals, bombers, policy makers, veterans, hippies, and draft dodgers. These chapters are narrative snapshots of key moments and critical groups that sprung up in some of the most turbulent years of the 20th century. As a whole, they capture the essence of an era. They questioned and challenged nearly every aspect of American society--work, capitalism, family, education, male-female relations, sex, science, and wealth--and many of their questions remain important. A sampling of insights: how the killing of four students at Kent State turned a straight social worker into a hippie overnight; how the draft turned Ivy League-educated young men into fugitives and prisoners; how powerful government insiders walked away from their careers; how Vietnam vets came home vowing to stop the war; how, in the name of peace, intellectuals became bombers; how alienation from the establishment and the older generation compelled people to drop out, experiment with psychedelic drugs, and live communally; and how the civil rights and antiwar movements gave birth to feminism"--

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