Living in the Eighties

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Some see the 1980s as a Golden Age, a "Morning in America" when Ronald Reagan revived America's economy, reoriented American politics, and restored Americans' faith in their country and in themselves. Others see the 1980s as a new "Gilded Age," an era that was selfish, superficial, glitzy, greedy, divisive, and destructive. This multifaceted exploration of the 1980s brings together a variety of voices from different political persuasions, generations, and vantage points. The volume features work by Reagan critics and Reagan fans (including one of President Reagan's closest aides, Ed Meese), by historians who think the 1980s were a disastrous time, those who think it was a glorious time, and those who see both the blessings and the curses of the decade. Their essays examine everything from multiculturalism, Southern conservatism, and Reaganomics, to music culture, religion, crime, AIDS, and the city. A complex, thoughtful account of a watershed in our recent history, this volume will engage anyone interested in this pivotal decade.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Living in the Eighties is a lively set of essays that deftly explores cultural as well as political, social, and economic developments in America during the 1980s. I recommend it enthusiastically." -- James T. Patterson, author of Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore

"Living in the Eighties offers a fresh take on this important decade in the recent past. While acknowledging the constraints on the conservative shift in American politics and culture, the authors nicely capture the decisive turn to the right in this crucial era. From Madonna to shopping malls to Reagan's key political victories, this volume provides a compelling and insightful portrait of America in the '80s."-Meg Jacobs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"As one might expect, this is a collection notable for the quality of its scholarship and sturdiness of its prose. But the hallmark of the anthology, perhaps not surprisingly, is balance, not only in terms of opinion, but also generations and even professions."--History News Network

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195187878
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/23/2009
  • Series: Viewpoints on American Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 983,082
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Gil Troy is Professor of History at McGill University and the author of Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents and Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s, among other titles.
Vincent J. Cannato is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and the author of American Passage: The History of Ellis Island and The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and his Struggle to Save New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Vincent J. Cannato and Gil Troy
1. Ronald Reagan's 100-Day Revolution...--Gil Troy, McGill University
2. The Conservative Renaissance: from the Invasion of Washington, DC to the Moral Majority--Ed Meese, The Heritage Foundation
3. Conservatism - and the South - Rise Again--Joseph Crespino, Emory University
4.The Liberal Eclipse - and Reorientation--David Greenberg, Rutgers University
5. Bright Lights, Doomed Cities: Crime, AIDS and the Literature of Excess and Apocalypse--Vincent J. Cannato
6. Madonna Feminism: Steps Forward and Back in the 80s--Sara Evans, University of Minnesota
7. The Disuniting of America?: The Rise of Multiculturalism--Mark Brilliant, University of California, Berkeley
8. Reaganomics: The Rise of the Yuppie, the Decline of Labor, the Lure of Wall Street--Kim Phillips-Fein, Gallatin School, New York University
9. Did Ronald Reagan Make the Berlin Wall Fall Down?--Peter Schweitzer, Hoover Institution
10. "Just Where is Graceland?": 80s Pop Culture through Music--Steve Greenberg, S-Curve Records
11. The Privatization of Everyday Life: Public Policy, Public Services and Public Space in Reagan's America--Bruce J. Schulman, Boston University
12. "Gimme that Old Time Religion": Personal and Political Revivalism in the 1980s--Lauren Frances Winner, Duke Divinity School
Introduction: "Navigating Reagan and the Eighties: A Guide to the Issues, Clashes, Dilemmas," Vincent J. Cannato and Gil Troy
1. "Ronald Reagan's 100-Day Revolution", Gil Troy
2. "The Conservative Renaissance: An Insider's Perspective,", Edwin Meese III
3. "Conservatism - and the South - Rise Again,", Joseph Crespino
4. "The Liberal Eclipse - and Reorientation,", David Greenberg
5. "Bright Lights, Doomed Cities: The Rise or Fall of New York City in the 1980s,", Vincent J. Cannato
6. "Madonna Feminism: Steps Forward and Back in the 80s,", Sara Evans
7. "The Disuniting of America?: The Rise of Multiculturalism,", Mark Brilliant
8. "Reaganomics: The Rise of the Yuppie, the Decline of Labor, the Lure of Wall Street,", Kim Phillips-Fein
9. "Did Ronald Reagan Make the Berlin Wall Fall Down?", Peter Schweitzer
10. "Just Where is Graceland?: 80s Pop Culture through Music,", Steve Greenberg
11. "The Privatization of Everyday Life: Public Policy, Public Services and Public Space in Reagan's America,", Bruce J. Schulman
12. "Reaganizing Religion: Changing Political and Cultural Norms among Evangelicals in Ronald Reagan's America,", Lauren F. Winner

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