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Contemporary America: Power, Dependency, and Globalization since 1980

ISBN: 978-1-4051-3641-9
328 pages
May 2011, ©2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Contemporary America: Power, Dependency, and Globalization since 1980 (1405136413) cover image


This history of America’s recent past focuses on the importance of the United States’ interaction with the outside world and includes detailed accounts of the presidencies of Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush.
  • Provides a substantial account of the dramatic history of America since 1980, covering the Reagan years, the Clinton presidency, the impact of 9/11, the War on Terror, and the election of Barack Obama
  • Based on both secondary and primary resources, and includes research taken from newspapers, magazines, official documents, and memoirs
  • Written by a distinguished contemporary historian and a leading historian of the United States
  • Discusses the growing fragmentation of American society and the increasing distance between rich and poor under the impact of public policies and global forces
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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface.



1 Losing Control: The United States in 1980.

2 Borrowing as a Way of Life: A Dependent Economy and a Fragmenting Society.

3 Strangers in the Land: Open Borders and American Identity.

4 Glad Morning Again: A Reagan Revolution?

5 Reviving and Winning the Cold War.

6 The Morning After: The Limitations of Conservatism.

7 Gentleman George, Culture Wars, and the Return of Malaise.

8 Groping for a New World Order.

9 The Era of Globalization.

10 Porous Borders and Global Warming.

11 The New Age of Bill Clinton.

12 Democracy for the World.

13 The Comeback Kid v. the Gringrich Who Stole Christmas.

14 Since 2001: Decade of Crises.


Select Bibliography.


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Author Information

Michael Heale is Professor Emeritus of American History at Lancaster University, and on retirement became Senior Associate Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford. His published works focus primarily on political history, and include McCarthy’s Americans: Red Scare Politics in State and Nation, 1935-1965 (1998), The Sixties in America: History, Politics and Protest (2001), and Twentieth-Century America: Politics and Power in the United States, 1900-2000 (2004). He was previously Editor of the Journal of American Studies.
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"Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." (Choice, 1 October 2011)

"This perceptive and engaging account of the United States from Reagan to Obama, and the country's increasingly complex encounter with global forces, is a model of contemporary history. Combining an assured analysis of the nation's political, economic and social evolution, within a framework of increasing American dependency, the book burnishes Michael Heale's reputation as one of the wisest and most versatile historians of the United States. It is destined to instruct, as well as delight, a wide scholarly and general audience."
Richard Carwardine, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, UK

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