The Achievement of American Liberalism: The New Deal and Its Legacies / Edition 1

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Overview

The New Deal established the contours and character of modern American democracy. It created an anchor and a reference point for American liberal politics through the struggles for racial, gender, and economic equality in the five decades that followed it. Indeed, the ways that liberalism has changed in meaning since the New Deal provide a critical prism through which to understand twentieth-century politics. From the consensus liberalism of the war years to the strident liberalism of the sixties to the besieged liberalism of the eighties and through the more recent national debates about welfare reform and Social Security privatization, the prominent historians gathered here explore the convoluted history of the complex legacy of the New Deal and its continuing effect on the present.

In its scope and variety of subjects, this book reflects the protean quality of American liberalism. Alan Brinkley focuses on the range of choices New Dealers faced. Alonzo Hamby traces the Democratic Party's evolving effort to incorporate New Deal traditions in the Cold War era. Richard Fried offers a fresh look at the impact of McCarthyism. Richard Polenberg situates Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, in a tradition of liberal thought. And Melvin Urosfsky shows how the Roosevelt Court set the legal dimensions within which the debate about the meaning of liberalism would be conducted for decades. Other subjects include the effect of the Holocaust on relations between American Jews and African Americans; the limiting effects of racial and gender attitudes on the potential for meaningful reform; and the lasting repercussions of the tumultuous 1960s.

Provocative, illuminating and sure to raise questions for future study, The Achievement of American Liberalism testifies to a vibrant and vital field of inquiry.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

New Deal
Chafe's own essays... are excellent models for how historians and other scholars might effectively come to grips with elements of the New Deal, liberalism, and thier legacies.
Choice
This book will be useful for those seeking an understanding of US politics over the last decades of the 20th century.

— J.P. Sanson

Journal of American Studies
This book ranks among the most significant efforts to understand the long-term impact of the New Deal on American Politics and society. The eleven essays herein will be welcomed for their insightful commentaries on wide-ranging aspects of the 1930s liberal legacy that were to shape the American political experience for the remainder of the twentieth century.... Both in its contribution to understanding twentieth-century political history and contemporary America, this study will become established as a standard work on its subject.

— Iwan Morgan

Journal of American History
The essays collected in this tribute to William E. Leuchtenburg survey the arc of American liberalism... effective and accomplished pieces.

— Robert C. Lieberman

Choice - J.P. Sanson
This book will be useful for those seeking an understanding of US politics over the last decades of the 20th century.
Journal of American Studies - Iwan Morgan
This book ranks among the most significant efforts to understand the long-term impact of the New Deal on American Politics and society. The eleven essays herein will be welcomed for their insightful commentaries on wide-ranging aspects of the 1930s liberal legacy that were to shape the American political experience for the remainder of the twentieth century.... Both in its contribution to understanding twentieth-century political history and contemporary America, this study will become established as a standard work on its subject.
Journal of American History - Robert C. Lieberman
The essays collected in this tribute to William E. Leuchtenburg survey the arc of American liberalism... effective and accomplished pieces.
Library Journal
With this volume, editor Chafe (history, Duke), a prominent historian of postwar America, honors William Leuchtenburg, perhaps the leading New Deal historian, with a collection of 11 new essays assessing the course of American liberalism from the 1930s to date. Chafe, most recently editor of Remembering Jim Crow, is joined in this effort by an impressive list of contributors, including Alan Brinkley, Alonzo Hamby, Melvin Urofsky, and others. While the chapters are uneven, as is often said of Festschriften, it is not the quality that varies; indeed, the pieces range from good to excellent. Instead, the focus is not sharp, as broad views of traditional topics, such as fine analyses of New Deal reform programs and of Democratic politics, by Brinkley and Hamby, respectively, fail to meld with more narrowly conceived studies, such as those on J. Robert Oppenheimer and on payola in the 1950s music industry. Still, the volume is well worth acquiring by any academic library for the names in the table of contents alone, not to mention the contributions from Chafe himself on the liberal fault lines of race, class, and gender. For academic libraries.-Robert F. Nardini, Chichester, NH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231112130
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/11/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

William H. Chafe is dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences and Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History at Duke University. He is the author of many books including The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War II.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction, by William H. Chafe1. The New Deal Experiments, by Alan Brinkley2. High Tide: Roosevelt, Truman, and the Democratic Party, 1932-1952, by Alonzo L. Hamby3. The Roosevelt Court, by Melvin I. Urofsky4. Voting Against the Hammer and Sickle: Communism as an Issue in American Politics, by Richard M. Fried5. The Ethical Responsibilities of the Scientist: The Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Richard Polenberg6. Race in America: The Ultimate Test of Liberalism, by William H. Chafe7. African Americans American Jews, and the Holocaust, by Harvard Sitkoff8. Race Rock and Roll, and the Rigged Society: The Payola Scandal and the Political Culture of the 1950s, by Steven F. Lawson9. "A Revolution But Half Accomplished'': The Twentieth Century's Engagement with Child-Raising, Women's Work, and Feminism, by Cynthia Harrison10. Race, Class, and Gender in Southern History: Forces That Unite, Forces That Divide,, by William H. Chafe11. Liberalism After the Sixties: A Reconnaissance, by Otis L. Graham Jr

Columbia University Press

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