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Deadlock and Disillusionment: American Politics since 1968

ISBN: 978-1-118-93434-0
384 pages
April 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
Deadlock and Disillusionment: American Politics since 1968 (1118934342) cover image


Deadlock and Disillusionment: American Politics Since 1968 is an insightful consideration of the events people, and policy debates that have shaped and continue to influence, even control, the current political era.
  • Rejects conventional wisdom that the dominant force shaping recent American politics in the last half century has been the “rise of the Right”
  • Considers the achievements and frustrations of each administration, from Nixon to Obama, in its assessment of contemporary U.S. politics
  • Features authorship by an expert scholar in the field who takes a thematic rather than a partisan approach to recent American politics
  • Offers a concise, comprehensive, and thoroughly up-to-date synthesis of the literature in the field and concludes with a comprehensive bibliographical essay, an aid to student research
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Preface ix

Introduction: 1968—The End of an Era 1

1 The Politics of Cynicism, 1968–1974 5

The Shaping of a New Majority 7

Conservatism as Reform 16

The Politics of War and Détente 19

Watergate and Its Aftermath 30

2 The Futility of Moderation, 1974–1976 43

The Politics of Forgiveness 44

President as Political Prisoner 48

Détente Derailed 53

3 Dashed Hopes, 1976–1980 60

Fractured Majority 61

Threading the Needle 73

The Abandonment of Idealism 78

4 Dogma and (More) Disappointment, 1980–1988 89

The Rise of the Right 90

Reaganomics 96

Culture Wars and Party Politics 107

Reagan’s World 117

5 Squandering the Inheritance, 1988–1992 136

Succession by Hardball 137

The Bills Come Due 144

New World (Dis)Order 153

6 The Deepening Divide, 1992–2000 171

The Illusion of Liberal Revival 172

The Politics of Triangulation 187

Quest for a Post-Cold War Foreign Policy 200

Crises of the Clinton Presidency 212

7 The Politics of Polarization, 2000–2008 221

Ultimate Deadlock: Bush v. Gore 222

The Politics of Anti ]terrorism 233

Imagined Mandate 248

The Politics of Certitude 262

8 The Politics of Red and Blue, since 2008 277

The Politics of Hope 279

Government by Dysfunction 296

The Politics of Trench Warfare 315

Conclusion: Deadlock and Disillusionment 328

Bibliographical Essay 335

Index 355

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Author Information

Gary W. Reichard is Provost / Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. In addition to teaching post-World War II United States history at the college level, Reichard has taught the history of American political parties and the history of American immigration and ethnicity. He is the author of The Reaffirmation of Republicanism: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Eighty-third Congress and Politics as Usual: The Age of Truman and Eisenhower (2nd Ed.), and is a former member of the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians.

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