Restless Giant The United States from Watergate to Bush V. Gore

ISBN-10: 019512216X
ISBN-13: 9780195122169
Edition: 2005
List price: $45.00 Buy it from $2.35
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Description: Restless Giant is a magisterial interpretation of American history between 1974, when the crisis of Watergate imperiled the nation, and November 2000, when the bitterly contested presidential election marked an all-time low in confidence in the  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/23/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 496
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.936
Language: English

Restless Giant is a magisterial interpretation of American history between 1974, when the crisis of Watergate imperiled the nation, and November 2000, when the bitterly contested presidential election marked an all-time low in confidence in the electoral process. James T. Patterson, whose earlier contribution to the Oxford History of the United States, Grand Expectations (1996), won a Bancroft Prize for History, offers in this follow-up volume a vivid narrative of this quartercentury which did so much to shape American life today. A host of memorable characters, notably Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, sought to transform the nation. Conservatives, including a resurgent Religious Right, battled liberals in 'culture wars' that appeared to cut the country in two. The frighteningCold War finally ended, whereupon Americans faced bewildering new developments in international relations. Though a military colossus, the United States discovered-in Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq-that it was far from easy to direct the outcome of overseas events. Restless Giant explores a wide range of cultural, social, and economic concerns. Many of these-abiding racial tensions, rising income inequality, dismal inner-city schools, tasteless popular entertainment, an ever more exuberantmaterialism-drove critics to label these years as an 'Era of Conflict', an 'Age of Limits', and an 'Era of Decline'. Patterson, highlighting the buoyancy of American culture, is not so pessimistic. The economy, having wallowed in 'stagflation' between 1974 and 1982, later surged ahead. By 2000, mostAmericans lived far more comfortably than they had in the 1970s. Thanks to rising tolerance and a powerful rights consciousness, many groups-racial and ethnic minorities, Catholics and Jews, women, the handicapped, senior citizens, gay people-encountered considerably less bigotry and discrimination than they had in the past.

James T. Patterson is an American historian, and Ford Foundation Professor of History emeritus at Brown University. He wrote "Grand Expectations: the United States, 1945-1974," which received the 1997 Bancroft Prize in American history. (The Bancroft prize is one of the most prestigious honors a book of history can received and was established at Columbia University in 1948. It's considered to be on par with the Pulitzer Prize because an anonymous jury of peers judges it.) "Grand Expectations" is an interpretation of the explosive growth, high expectations and unusual optimism that Americans experienced after World War II that went into the 1960's. It follows the social, economic and cultural trends, and foreign policy issues, which became less optimistic after the assassinations, the Vietnam War and Watergate.

The troubled 1970s
Sex, families, stagflation
The political world of the mid-1970s
Carter, Reagan, and the rise of the right
"Morning again in America"
America and the world in the 1980s
Bush 41
"Culture wars" and "decline" in the 1990s
Immigration, multiculturalism, race
Political wars of the early Clinton years
Prosperity, partisanship, terrorism
Impeachment and electoral crisis, 1998-2000

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