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 : 78. 87 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 : 76. 9 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 : 71. 33 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.


Witness To The Revolution

Author : Clara Bingham
ISBN : 9780679644743
Genre : History
File Size : 30. 22 MB
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The electrifying story of the turbulent year when the sixties ended and America teetered on the edge of revolution NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH As the 1960s drew to a close, the United States was coming apart at the seams. From August 1969 to August 1970, the nation witnessed nine thousand protests and eighty-four acts of arson or bombings at schools across the country. It was the year of the My Lai massacre investigation, the Cambodia invasion, Woodstock, and the Moratorium to End the War. The American death toll in Vietnam was approaching fifty thousand, and the ascendant counterculture was challenging nearly every aspect of American society. Witness to the Revolution, Clara Bingham’s unique oral history of that tumultuous time, unveils anew that moment when America careened to the brink of a civil war at home, as it fought a long, futile war abroad. Woven together from one hundred original interviews, Witness to the Revolution provides a firsthand narrative of that period of upheaval in the words of those closest to the action—the activists, organizers, radicals, and resisters who manned the barricades of what Students for a Democratic Society leader Tom Hayden called “the Great Refusal.” We meet Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground; Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department employee who released the Pentagon Papers; feminist theorist Robin Morgan; actor and activist Jane Fonda; and many others whose powerful personal stories capture the essence of an era. We witness how the killing of four students at Kent State turned a straitlaced social worker into a hippie, how the civil rights movement gave birth to the women’s movement, and how opposition to the war in Vietnam turned college students into prisoners, veterans into peace marchers, and intellectuals into bombers. With lessons that can be applied to our time, Witness to the Revolution is more than just a record of the death throes of the Age of Aquarius. Today, when America is once again enmeshed in racial turmoil, extended wars overseas, and distrust of the government, the insights contained in this book are more relevant than ever. Praise for Witness to the Revolution “Especially for younger generations who didn’t live through it, Witness to the Revolution is a valuable and entertaining primer on a moment in American history the likes of which we may never see again.”—Bryan Burrough, The Wall Street Journal “A gripping oral history of the centrifugal social forces tearing America apart at the end of the ’60s . . . This is rousing reportage from the front lines of US history.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “The familiar voices and the unfamiliar ones are woven together with documents to make this a surprisingly powerful and moving book.”—New York Times Book Review “[An] Enthralling and brilliant chronology of the period between August 1969 and September 1970.”—Buffalo News “[Bingham] captures the essence of these fourteen months through the words of movement organizers, vets, students, draft resisters, journalists, musicians, government agents, writers, and others. . . . This oral history will enable readers to see that era in a new light and with fresh sympathy for the motivations of those involved. While Bingham’s is one of many retrospective looks at that period, it is one of the most immediate and personal.”—Booklist

The Dixiecrat Revolt And The End Of The Solid South 1932 1968

Author : Kari A. Frederickson
ISBN : 0807849103
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 21 MB
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Examines the origins of the Dixiecrat movement of the 1930s and 1940s, analyzing the movement's influence in Southern politics as it severed ties with the Democratic Party and facilitated the rise of the Republican Party.

Prisoners Of Hope

Author : Randall B. Woods
ISBN : 9780465098712
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 62. 26 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.

Bobby Kennedy

Author : Larry Tye
ISBN : 9780679645207
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 74. 1 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

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