The America That Reagan Built / Edition 1

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This is a whistle-stop survey of American politics from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, with visits to poll results, biennial elections, political crises, and policy questions of the past twenty-five years. It touches on numerous aspects of American political life as well as economics, art, literature, science, society, fads, and customs that changed with the culture of the country. The story is told in terms of the presidents who shaped and led the nation, the elections that brought and kept them in power, and the dozens of people who collectively played a part in helping mold the national experience from 1980 to 2005.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With so many of us born after 1980 and many more of us losing our memory of that hinge year, Woodard recalls how politics used to be and how it evolved, right up to the second administration of George W. Bush. He takes the temperature of the electorate and the great consuming public, exploring how economics, art, literature, science, society, fads and customs became part of American life and even became interwoven into its future. He considers the enigmas and the certainties of the Reagan years, the thousand points of light of George H.W. Bush, the varying degrees of separation between the Clinton administration and disaster, the postmodern nineties, and the effects of 9/ll on what seemed to be merely evolutionary. The photographs scattered through the text are particularly telling."


Reference & Research Book News

"The book offers a fairly straightforward, readable account of the major issues and trends in US politics and society since the latter days of the Carter administration. In so doing, it hits the significant points in contemporary affairs in a dispassionate, effective, and evenhanded way. For this it should be commended….Recommended. General readers, lower-division undergraduates through practitioners."



"The impressively coherent narrative encompasses everything from elections and policy debates to trials of the century, hairstyles, and top television shows."


Political Science Quarterly

"This remarkable book is aptly titled. Author J. David Woodard argues that, beginning with the election of 1980, Ronadl Reagan united the nation's conservative elements into a powerful coalition, inspired dramatic party realignments, and altered the nature of American politics for the next twenty-five years."


The Historian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275986094
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

J. DAVID WOODARD is Professor of Political Science at Clemson University and co-author of American Conservatism from Burke to Bush (1991) and The Conservative Tradition in America (1996). He is also the author of The New Southern Politics (2006).

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Table of Contents

1 Malaise 1
2 1980 election 17
3 I, Ronald Wilson Reagan 33
4 A rising tide 63
5 Morning in America : the second term 79
6 A thousand points of light 103
7 From a distance 123
8 Don't stop thinking about tomorrow 141
9 The postmodern nineties 161
10 Triangulation 183
11 9/11 203
12 Misunderestimated 225
Epilogue : epochs 247
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