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Deadlock and Disillusionment: American Politics since 1968



Deadlock and Disillusionment: American Politics since 1968

Gary W. Reichard

ISBN: 978-1-118-93437-1 February 2016 Wiley-Blackwell 384 Pages


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

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