20th Century America: A Social and Political History / Edition 1

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Overview

FROM THE PREFACE

"This book began with our students. -I he twentieth century is the time they entered the world, the time they are most familiar with, yet parts of which seem distant, even ancient to them. Their lives, who they are, where they live, and what they believe are most intimately connected with this century Our objective is to render both the familiar and the distant events and people of the twentieth century accessible and connected to our students' lives today, The key to achieving that goal is a strong clear narrative. Twentieth-Century America is a compelling story of soaring ideals, incomparable tragedies, and perseverance, which is to say, the stuff of all human history."

Learning tools make the twentieth century come alive:

  • American Voices open up each oh the chapters. Consisting of letters, diary entries, and other first-hand accounts, these voices highlight the personal dimensions of the American journey and show students the wealth and variety of experiences that make up the country's history. From Carlotta Silvas Martins' traumatic account of the Great Depression era in the 1930s to Cambodian refugee Celia Noup's harrowing journey to California in the 1980s, these voices set the stage for key themes that are explored in each chapter.
  • American Views, primary-source documents with introductions and pre-reading questions, are found in each chapter and bring people of the past and their concepts vividly alive. Such important topics as the plight of Japanese-Americans interned during World War II and the relationship between religion and politics are examined in these powerful excerpts.
  • Overview Tables in each chapter summarize complex issues.
  • Key Topics, Key Terms, and Review Questions reinforce the concepts presented in each chapter.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130995148
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 10/5/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

This book began with our students. The twentieth century is the time they entered the world, the time they are most familiar with, yet parts of which seem distant, even ancient to them. Their lives, who they are, where they live, and what they believe are most intimately connected with this century. Our objective is to render both the familiar and the distant events and people of the twentieth century accessible and connected to our students' lives today. The key to achieving that goal is a strong clear narrative. Twentieth-Century America is a compelling story of soaring ideals, incomparable tragedies, and perseverance; which is to say, the stuff of all human history. We try to tell this story in an engaging, forthright way, but we also provide students with an abundance of tools to help them absorb that story and put it in context. We introduce them to the concerns of the participants in America's history with primary source documents. The voices of contemporaries open each chapter, describing their own personal journeys toward fulfilling their dreams, hopes, and ambitions as part of the broader American journey. These voices provide a personal window on our nation's history, and the themes they express resonate throughout the narrative.

But if we wrote this book to appeal to our students, we also wrote it to engage their minds. We wanted to avoid academic trendiness, particularly the restricting categories that have divided the discipline of history over the last twenty years or so. We believe that the distinctions involved in the debates about multiculturalism and identity, between social and political history, between the history of the common people and the history of the elite, are unnecessarily confusing.

What we seek is integration—to combine political and social history, to fit the experience of particular groups into the broader perspective of the American past, to give voice to minor and major players alike because of their role in the story we have to tell.

APPROACH

In telling our story, we had some definite ideas about what we might include and emphasize that other texts do not—information we felt that the current and next generations of students will need to know about our past to function best in the society that emerged from the twentieth century.

Chronological Organization. A strong chronological backbone supports the book. We have found that the jumping back and forth in time characteristic of some textbooks confuses students. They abhor dates but need to know the sequence of events in history. A chronological presentation is the best way to be sure they do.

Geographical Literacy. We also want students to be geographically literate. We expect them not only to know what happened in American history, but where it happened as well. Physical locations and spatial relationships were often important in shaping historical events. The abundant maps in Twentieth-Century America—all numbered and called out in the text—are an integral part of our story.

Regional Balance. Twentieth-Century America presents balanced coverage of all regions of the country. In keeping with this balance, the South and the West receive more coverage in this text than in comparable books.

Point of View. Twentieth-Century America presents a balanced overview 9f the history of that century. But "balanced" does not mean bland. We do not shy away from definite positions on controversial issues, such as civil rights, military and foreign policy, feminism, the great waves of foreign migration, and cultural revolutions in music, fashion, and behavior. If students and instructors disagree, that's great. Discussion and dissent are important catalysts for understanding and learning.

Religion. Nor do we shy away from some topics that play relatively minor roles in other texts, like religion. Historians are often uncomfortable writing about religion and tend to slight its influence. This text stresses the importance of religion in twentieth-century American society as both a source of strength and a reflection of some of its more troubling aspects.

Historians mostly write for each other. That's too bad. We need to reach out and expand our audience. An American history text is a good place to start. Our students are not only our future historians, but more important, our future.

David Goldfield Carl Abbott Jo Ann E. Argersinger Peter H. Argersinger

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. The American Journey in 1900.

New Industry.

New Immigrants.

Settling the Race Issue.

New Cities.

Attacking the American Indian Problem.

An Emerging World Power.

2. Toward a Progressive Society.

The Ferment of Reform.

Reforming Industrial Society.

Moral Crusades and Social Control.

Conclusion.

3. Progressive Politics: 1900-1916.

Reforming Politics and Government.

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Presidency.

Taft and the Tensions of Progressive Politics.

Woodrow Wilson and Progressive Reform.

Conclusion.

4. Creating an Empire: 1898-1917.

The Roots of Imperialism.

The Spanish-American War.

Imperial Ambitions: The United States and East Asia, 1899-1917.

Imperial Power: The United States and Latin America, 1899-1917.

Playing “An Ever Growing Part:” The United States and Europe, 1900-1914.

Conclusion.

5. America and the Great War: 1914-1920.

Waging Neutrality.

Waging War in America.

Waging War and Peace Abroad.

Waging Peace at Home.

Conclusion.

6. Toward a Modern America: The 1920s.

The Economy That Roared.

The Business of Government.

Cities and Suburbs.

Mass Culture in the Jazz Age.

Culture Wars.

A New Era in the World?

Herbert Hoover and the Final Triumph of the New Era.

Conclusion.

7. Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression: 1929-1933.

CRASH!

Hard Times in Hooverville.

Herbert Hoover and the Depression.

Repudiating Hoover: The Election of 1932.

Waiting for Roosevelt.

Conclusion.

8. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Depression, and the New Deal: 1933-1939.

Launching the New Deal.

Consolidating the New Deal.

The New Deal and American Life.

Ebbing of the New Deal.

Good Neighbors and Hostile Forces.

Conclusion.

9. World War II: 1939-1945.

The Dilemmas of Neurtrality.

Holding the Line.

Mobilizing for Victory.

War and Peace.

Conclusion.

10. The Cold War at Home and Abroad: 1946-1952.

Launching the Great Boom.

Truman, Republicans, and the Fair Deal.

Confronting the Soviet Union.

Cold War and Hot War.

The Second Red State.

Conclusion.

11. The Confident Years: 1953-1964.

A Decade of Affluence.

Facing Off with the Soviet Union.

John F. Kennedy and the Cold War.

Righteousness Like a Mighty Stream: The Struggle for Civil Rights.

“Let Us Continue.”

Conclusion.

12. Shaken to the Roots: 1965-1980.

The End of Consensus.

Cities Under Stress.

The Year of the Gun.

Nixon and Watergate.

Jimmy Carter: Idealism and Frustration in the White House.

Conclusion.

13. The Reagan Revolution and a Changing World: 1981-1992.

Reagan’s Domestic Revolution.

The Second (Short) Cold War.

Growth in the Sunbelt.

Values in Collision.

Conclusion.

14. Complacency and Crisis: 1993-2004.

The Politics of the Center.

A New Economy?

Broadening Democracy.

Edging into a New Century.

Paradoxes of Power.

Conclusion.

Bibliography.

Credits.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Preface

This book began with our students. The twentieth century is the time they entered the world, the time they are most familiar with, yet parts of which seem distant, even ancient to them. Their lives, who they are, where they live, and what they believe are most intimately connected with this century. Our objective is to render both the familiar and the distant events and people of the twentieth century accessible and connected to our students' lives today. The key to achieving that goal is a strong clear narrative. Twentieth-Century America is a compelling story of soaring ideals, incomparable tragedies, and perseverance; which is to say, the stuff of all human history. We try to tell this story in an engaging, forthright way, but we also provide students with an abundance of tools to help them absorb that story and put it in context. We introduce them to the concerns of the participants in America's history with primary source documents. The voices of contemporaries open each chapter, describing their own personal journeys toward fulfilling their dreams, hopes, and ambitions as part of the broader American journey. These voices provide a personal window on our nation's history, and the themes they express resonate throughout the narrative.

But if we wrote this book to appeal to our students, we also wrote it to engage their minds. We wanted to avoid academic trendiness, particularly the restricting categories that have divided the discipline of history over the last twenty years or so. We believe that the distinctions involved in the debates about multiculturalism and identity, between social and political history, between the history of the common people and the history of the elite, are unnecessarily confusing.

What we seek is integration—to combine political and social history, to fit the experience of particular groups into the broader perspective of the American past, to give voice to minor and major players alike because of their role in the story we have to tell.

APPROACH

In telling our story, we had some definite ideas about what we might include and emphasize that other texts do not—information we felt that the current and next generations of students will need to know about our past to function best in the society that emerged from the twentieth century.

Chronological Organization. A strong chronological backbone supports the book. We have found that the jumping back and forth in time characteristic of some textbooks confuses students. They abhor dates but need to know the sequence of events in history. A chronological presentation is the best way to be sure they do.

Geographical Literacy. We also want students to be geographically literate. We expect them not only to know what happened in American history, but where it happened as well. Physical locations and spatial relationships were often important in shaping historical events. The abundant maps in Twentieth-Century America—all numbered and called out in the text—are an integral part of our story.

Regional Balance. Twentieth-Century America presents balanced coverage of all regions of the country. In keeping with this balance, the South and the West receive more coverage in this text than in comparable books.

Point of View. Twentieth-Century America presents a balanced overview 9f the history of that century. But "balanced" does not mean bland. We do not shy away from definite positions on controversial issues, such as civil rights, military and foreign policy, feminism, the great waves of foreign migration, and cultural revolutions in music, fashion, and behavior. If students and instructors disagree, that's great. Discussion and dissent are important catalysts for understanding and learning.

Religion. Nor do we shy away from some topics that play relatively minor roles in other texts, like religion. Historians are often uncomfortable writing about religion and tend to slight its influence. This text stresses the importance of religion in twentieth-century American society as both a source of strength and a reflection of some of its more troubling aspects.

Historians mostly write for each other. That's too bad. We need to reach out and expand our audience. An American history text is a good place to start. Our students are not only our future historians, but more important, our future.

David Goldfield
Carl Abbott
Jo Ann E. Argersinger
Peter H. Argersinger

Read More Show Less

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