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Fault Lines by Two award-winning historians explore the origins of a divided America. If you were asked when America became polarized, your answer would likely depend on your age: you might say during Barack Obama's presidency, or with the post-9/11 war on terror, or the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, or the "Reagan Revolution" and the the rise of the New Right. For leading historians Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer, it all starts in 1974. In that one year, the nation was rocked by one major event after another: The Watergate crisis and the departure of President Richard Nixon, the first and only U.S. President to resign; the winding down of the Vietnam War and rising doubts about America's military might; the fallout from the OPEC oil embargo that paralyzed America with the greatest energy crisis in its history; and the desegregation busing riots in South Boston that showed a horrified nation that our efforts to end institutional racism were failing. In the years that followed, the story of our own lifetimes would be written. Longstanding historical fault lines over income inequality, racial division, and a revolution in gender roles and sexual norms would deepen and fuel a polarized political landscape. In Fault Lines, Kruse and Zelizer reveal how the divisions of the present day began almost five decades ago, and how they were widened thanks to profound changes in our political system as well as a fracturing media landscape that was repeatedly transformed with the rise of cable TV, the internet, and social media. How did the United States become so divided? Fault Lines offers a richly told, wide-angle history view toward an answer.
Call Number: E839 .K78 2019
Radiation Nation by On March 28, 1979, the worst nuclear reactor accident in U.S. history occurred at the Three Mile Island power plant in Central Pennsylvania. Radiation Nation tells the story of what happened that day and in the months and years that followed, as local residents tried to make sense of the emergency. The near-meltdown occurred at a pivotal moment when the New Deal coalition was unraveling, trust in government was eroding, conservatives were consolidating their power, and the political left was becoming marginalized. Using the accident to explore this turning point, Natasha Zaretsky provides a fresh interpretation of the era by disclosing how atomic and ecological imaginaries shaped the conservative ascendancy. Drawing on the testimony of the men and women who lived in the shadow of the reactor, Radiation Nation shows that the region's citizens, especially its mothers, grew convinced that they had sustained radiological injuries that threatened their reproductive futures. Taking inspiration from the antiwar, environmental, and feminist movements, women at Three Mile Island crafted a homegrown ecological politics that wove together concerns over radiological threats to the body, the struggle over abortion and reproductive rights, and eroding trust in authority. This politics was shaped above all by what Zaretsky calls "biotic nationalism," a new body-centered nationalism that imagined the nation as a living, mortal being and portrayed sickened Americans as evidence of betrayal. The first cultural history of the accident, Radiation Nation reveals the surprising ecological dimensions of post-Vietnam conservatism while showing how growing anxieties surrounding bodily illness infused the political realignment of the 1970s in ways that blurred any easy distinction between left and right.
Call Number: E872 .Z37 2018
Reagan by In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan s personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today. Reagan follows young Ronald Reagan as his ambition for ever larger stages compelled him to leave behind small-town Illinois to become first a radio announcer and then that quintessential public figure of modern America, a movie star. When his acting career stalled, his reinvention as the voice of The General Electric Theater on television made him an unlikely spokesman for corporate America. Then began Reagan s improbable political ascension, starting in the 1960s, when he was first elected governor of California, and culminating in his election in 1980 as president of the United Sta
Call Number: E877 .B73 2015
The Invisible Bridge by From the bestselling author of Nixonland: a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous political and economic times of the 1970s. In January of 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term-until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon's resignation "our long national nightmare is over"-but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives. The economy was in tatters. And as Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way-as one more nation among nations, no more providential than any other-the pundits declared that from now on successful politicians would be the ones who honored this chastened new national mood. Ronald Reagan never got the message. Which was why, when he announced his intention to challenge President Ford for the 1976 Republican nomination, those same pundits dismissed him-until, amazingly, it started to look like he just might win. He was inventing the new conservative political culture we know now, in which a vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was derailed in America's Bicentennial year by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood. Against a backdrop of melodramas from the Arab oil embargo to Patty Hearst to the near-bankruptcy of America's greatest city, The Invisible Bridge asks the question: what does it mean to believe in America? To wave a flag-or to reject the glibness of the flag wavers?
Call Number: E855 .P468 2014
Jimmy Carter: January 20, 1980
We still have 5.8% unemployment; inflation has risen from 4.8% to 13%. We still don't have a viable energy policy. Russian troops are in Cuba and Afghanistan. The dollar is falling, gold is rising, and the hostages after 78 days are still in Tehran. Just what have you done, sir, asks panelist David Broder, "to deserve renomination?" In this episode of Meet the Press, Jimmy Carter makes his case for a second term in the White House. The President also talks about the ongoing Iran hostage crisis and the Olympic boycott against the Soviet Union. Introduced by Tim Russert.
Ronald Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime
This episode of Biography traces the life of Ronald Reagan from his childhood in the small, working class towns of Illinois, through his career as a Hollywood actor, and his political career which took him from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican, from a two-term governorship of California, to a two-term presidency that helped define and shape policies in the 1980s and far beyond. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. (48 minutes)
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Reaganland by From the bestselling author of Nixonland and The Invisible Bridge comes the dramatic conclusion of how conservatism took control of American political power. Over two decades, Rick Perlstein has published three definitive works about the emerging dominance of conservatism in modern American politics. With the saga's final installment, he has delivered yet another stunning literary and historical achievement. In late 1976, Ronald Reagan was dismissed as a man without a political future: defeated in his nomination bid against a sitting president of his own party, blamed for President Gerald Ford's defeat, too old to make another run. His comeback was fueled by an extraordinary confluence: fundamentalist preachers and former segregationists reinventing themselves as militant crusaders against gay rights and feminism; business executives uniting against regulation in an era of economic decline; a cadre of secretive "New Right" organizers deploying state-of-the-art technology, bending political norms to the breaking point--and Reagan's own unbending optimism, his ability to convey unshakable confidence in America as the world's "shining city on a hill." Meanwhile, a civil war broke out in the Democratic party. When President Jimmy Carter called Americans to a new ethic of austerity, Senator Ted Kennedy reacted with horror, challenging him for reelection. Carter's Oval Office tenure was further imperiled by the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, near-catastrophe at a Pennsylvania nuclear plant, aviation accidents, serial killers on the loose, and endless gas lines. Backed by a reenergized conservative Republican base, Reagan ran on the campaign slogan "Make America Great Again"--and prevailed. Reaganland is the story of how that happened, tracing conservatives' cutthroat strategies to gain power and explaining why they endure four decades later.
Publication Date: 2020
Reagan and the World by Throughout his presidency, Ronald Reagan sought "peace through strength" during an era of historic change. In the decades since, pundits and scholars have argued over the president's legacy: some consider Reagan a charismatic and consummate leader who renewed American strength and defeated communism. To others he was an ambitious and dangerous warmonger whose presidency was plagued with mismanagement, misconduct, and foreign policy failures. The recent declassification of Reagan administration records and the availability of new Soviet documents has created an opportunity for more nuanced, complex, and compelling analyses of this pivotal period in international affairs. In Reagan and the World, leading scholars and national security professionals offer fresh interpretations of the fortieth president's influence on American foreign policy. This collection addresses Reagan's management of the US national security establishment as well as the influence of Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and others in the administration and Congress. The contributors present in-depth explorations of US-Soviet relations and American policy toward Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. This balanced and sophisticated examination reveals the complexity of Reagan's foreign policy, clarifies the importance of other international actors of the period, and provides new perspectives on the final decade of the Cold War.
Publication Date: 2017
The Reagan Era by In this concise yet thorough history of America in the 1980s, Doug Rossinow takes the full measure of Ronald Reagan's presidency and the ideology of Reaganism. Believers in libertarian economics and a muscular foreign policy, Reaganite conservatives in the 1980s achieved impressive success in their efforts to transform American government, politics, and society, ushering in the political and social system Americans inhabit today. Rossinow links current trends in economic inequality to the policies and social developments of the Reagan era. He reckons with the racial politics of Reaganism and its debt to the backlash generated by the civil rights movement, as well as Reaganism's entanglement with the politics of crime and the rise of mass incarceration. Rossinow narrates the conflicts that rocked U.S. foreign policy toward Central America, and he explains the role of the recession during the early 1980s in the decline of manufacturing and the growth of a service economy. From the widening gender gap to the triumph of yuppies and rap music, from Reagan's tax cuts and military buildup to the celebrity of Michael Jackson and Madonna, from the era's Wall Street scandals to the successes of Bill Gates and Sam Walton, from the first "war on terror" to the end of the Cold War and the brink of America's first war with Iraq, this history, lively and readable yet sober and unsparing, gives readers vital perspective on a decade that dramatically altered the American landscape.
Publication Date: 2015
The 1970s by A compelling framework for understanding the importance of the 1970s for America and the world The 1970s looks at an iconic decade when the cultural left and economic right came to the fore in American society and the world at large. While many have seen the 1970s as simply a period of failures epitomized by Watergate, inflation, the oil crisis, global unrest, and disillusionment with military efforts in Vietnam, Thomas Borstelmann creates a new framework for understanding the period and its legacy. He demonstrates how the 1970s increased social inclusiveness and, at the same time, encouraged commitments to the free market and wariness of government. As a result, American culture and much of the rest of the world became more--and less--equal. Borstelmann explores how the 1970s forged the contours of contemporary America. Military, political, and economic crises undercut citizens' confidence in government. Free market enthusiasm led to lower taxes, a volunteer army, individual 401(k) retirement plans, free agency in sports, deregulated airlines, and expansions in gambling and pornography. At the same time, the movement for civil rights grew, promoting changes for women, gays, immigrants, and the disabled. And developments were not limited to the United States. Many countries gave up colonial and racial hierarchies to develop a new formal commitment to human rights, while economic deregulation spread to other parts of the world, from Chile and the United Kingdom to China. Placing a tempestuous political culture within a global perspective, The 1970s shows that the decade wrought irrevocable transformations upon American society and the broader world that continue to resonate today.
Publication Date: 2013
The Eighties in America by This encyclopedia is a much-needed source of reliable information for today's students, all of whom were born after the decade ended. It features long overviews and short entries discussing people, books, films, plays, and other important topics representative of that era. Every entry focuses on the topic or person during the 1980s in order to explore what made the decade unique.
Publication Date: 2008
Gerald Ford and the Challenges of The 1970s by History has not been kind to Gerald Ford. His name evokes an image of either America's only unelected president, who abruptly pardoned his corrupt predecessor, or an accident-prone man who failed to provide skilled leadership to a country in domestic turmoil. In Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s, historian Yanek Mieczkowski reexamines Ford's two and a half years in office, showing that his presidency successfully confronted the most vexing crises of the postwar era. Surveying the state of America in the 1970s, Mieczkowski focuses on the economic challenges facing the country. He argues that Ford's understanding of the national economy was better than that of any other modern president, that Ford oversaw a dramatic reduction of inflation, and that his attempts to solve the energy crisis were based in sound economic principles. Throughout his presidency, Ford labored under the legacy of Watergate. Democrats scored landslide victories in the 1974 midterm elections, and the president engaged with a spirited opposition Congress. Within an anemic Republican Party, the right wing challenged Ford's leadership, even as pundits predicted the death of the GOP. Yet Ford reinvigorated the party and fashioned a 1976 campaign strategy against Jimmy Carter that brought him from thirty points behind to a dead heat on election day. Mieczkowski draws on numerous personal interviews with the former president, cabinet officials, and members of the Ninety-fourth Congress. In his reassessment of this underrated president, Ford emerges as a skilled executive, an effective diplomat, and a leader with a clear vision for America's future. Working to heal a divided nation, Ford unified the GOP and laid the groundwork for the Republican resurgence in subsequent decades. The first major work on the former president to appear in more than ten years, Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s combines the best of biography and economic, social, and presidential history to create an intriguing portrait of a president, his times, and his legacy.
Publication Date: 2005