America's Right Turn: From Nixon to Bush

Overview

The decline of New Deal liberalism and the resurgence of Republican conservatism that began with the 1968 election of Richard Nixon culminated in the 1980s in the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush. In America's Right Turn historian William Berman examines the political, cultural, and economic context in which Republican conservatives operated and explores the crisis of the liberal welfare state against the background of presidentialpolitics.

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Overview

The decline of New Deal liberalism and the resurgence of Republican conservatism that began with the 1968 election of Richard Nixon culminated in the 1980s in the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush. In America's Right Turn historian William Berman examines the political, cultural, and economic context in which Republican conservatives operated and explores the crisis of the liberal welfare state against the background of presidentialpolitics.

In seeking the reasons for the end to Democratic hegemony, Berman first acknowledges the key role played by conservative populism. He also examines the effect of the conservative backlash to the rights revolution. But most importantly, he shows how conservative politics became allied with conservative economics--an alliance forged with singular success during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Inflation and globalization had more to do with conservatism's success in 1980 than any other single factor, Berman contends, and Republican conservatives held the presidency through the decade largely because an improving national economy was working in their favor.

After examining the Reagan administration's social and economic policies, as well as the reasons for liberalism's moribund state in the 1980s, Berman concludes with an analysis of how and why George Bush lost control of both the national political agenda and the White House in 1992.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Berman (history, U. of Toronto) examines the political, cultural, and economic context of two decades of conservative Republican rule in the US. In seeking explanations for the collapse of New Deal liberalism, he notes the backlash to the rights revolution of the 1960s and the role of conservative populism, but ultimately cites the alliance of conservative politics and economics as the reason for success, arguing that inflation and globalization were more important that anything else. Paper edition (unseen), $12.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801848254
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Series: American Moment Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

William C. Berman is professor of history at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration and William Fulbright and the Vietnam War: The Dissent of a Political Realist.

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Politics of Culture and Class, 1964-1974 5
2 The Conservative Upsurge, 1974-1976 21
3 Jimmy Carter and the Crisis of Liberalism 37
4 The Triumph of Conservatism, 1980 60
5 The Reagan Revolution 85
6 Conservatism in Decline, 1985-1992 119
Conclusion 164
Bibliographical Essay 169
Index 183
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