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Presidents from Eisenhower through Johnson, 1953-1969: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents (President's Position Series)

Overview

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Communism and the Cold War pervaded almost every aspect of American policy and concern. Eisenhower's Highway Act sought to strengthen America with the sort of roads system and military advantage Germany's Autobahn provided in World War II; Kennedy looked to space, the Peace Corps, and the schools to improve America's actual and perceived status in the eyes of the world; LBJ continually found concerns about Southeast Asia pressing in upon him notwithstanding his desire to found a new...

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Overview

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Communism and the Cold War pervaded almost every aspect of American policy and concern. Eisenhower's Highway Act sought to strengthen America with the sort of roads system and military advantage Germany's Autobahn provided in World War II; Kennedy looked to space, the Peace Corps, and the schools to improve America's actual and perceived status in the eyes of the world; LBJ continually found concerns about Southeast Asia pressing in upon him notwithstanding his desire to found a new Great Society in the United States. However, despite the Cold War and demands of international politics, these three presidents were continually involved in critical debates about the domestic future of America, and their roles and victories in these debates have left deep impressions upon American society. This volume provides readers with access to the primary documents—both foreign and domestic—that reflect the debates that have had such a strong influence in shaping the United States.

This resource covers thirty-two key issues and initiatives of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson presidencies. An introductory overview of each president's administration provides a useful window through which to assess the specific debates and documents addressed, and each of these individual issues is also supplemented by a brief introductory discussion. Among the issues covered are: Eisenhower's attempt to establish a new look for national defense, the Eisenhower doctrine, and the National Defense Education Act; Kennedy's Alliance for Progress and Peace Corps programs, his role in Cuba, his plans for America in space, and his work on arms control and the Limited Test Ban Treaty; and Johnson's Civil Rights Act, Model Cities Program, war on poverty, and role in the ground and air wars in Vietnam. A timeline provides a chronological backdrop for the subject, and recommended readings following each section offer helpful direction for further study.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This volume examines 32 major issues or presidential initiative from those times. With the Cold War, the atom bomb and deepening entanglements in Southeast Asia and Latin American, much of the discussion centers on foreign policy. However, the civil rights movement and presidential initiatives on highways, space, poverty and conservation provide ample range for domestic debates. The combination of high school teacher John King and college professor John Vile has produced a text that is accessible to students at both levels. Their historical analysis highlights not only the contemporary differences of opinions but also the frequently unexpected consequences of many policy decisions. The resulting guide encourages critical thinking on the part of the student, and will serve high school and college audiences well."

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Lawrence Looks at Books

"In 1958 a senator worries aloud that America is lagging in developing a satellite program. In 1961 undersecretaries try to persuade their boss that invading Cuba may be a bad idea. In 1965 senators from the South weigh in against the federal government's taking over local elections. This collection, which is part of a series intended for high school students and general readers, includes presidents describing the relationship between the US economy and war, various sides analyzing rebel uprisings overseas, legislators calling upon each other to support states' rights, and a representative of the AMA denouncing Medicare. Each entry includes a brief introduction and a very representative sampling of speeches, declarations and memos. However, the format makes it difficult for readers to sort out which are the primary documents and which are the introductions."

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Reference & Research Book News

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOHN A. KING, JR. teaches Social Studies at Ransom Everglades School, Coconut Grove, FL

JOHN R. VILE is Chair of the Political Science Department at Middle Tennessee University. He is author of Companion to the U.S. Constitution and Its Amendments (Greenwood, second edition, 1997), Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues (1996), and numerous other books on the United States Constitution.

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Table of Contents


Series Foreword     vii
Preface     xi
Timeline     xiv
Introduction     xxi
1   Dwight David Eisenhower (1953-1961)     1
Introduction     1
Senator McCarthy Poses Problems for the New Administration     2
Big Government and the Economy     4
The Size of the National Government     5
Military Policies: Strategic Theory     5
Foreign Policy: Forging Alliances     8
World Hot Spots     9
The Domino Theory     10
Ties Between Foreign and Domestic Policies     11
Ending the Korean War     12
The "New Look" of Massive Retaliation     18
Atoms for Peace     23
The Taiwan Straits Crisis     31
Civil Rights     36
Guatemala     41
The Highway Act     47
National Defense Education Act     53
The Beginnings of the U.S. Space Program     59
The Middle East and the Eisenhower Doctrine     63
2   John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1961-1963)
Introduction     73
The New Frontier     74
Domestic Policies     75
The Cold War: Cuba andGermany     76
Other Areas of the World     77
Summary     78
The Alliance for Progress     79
The Peace Corps     85
Cutting Taxes     91
Vietnam     98
The Space Race     107
The Bay of Pigs     112
Berlin     124
The Cuban Missile Crisis     130
Arms Control and the Limited Test Ban Treaty     139
Civil Rights     148
3   Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969)     159
Introduction     159
Vietnam     160
The Great Society     163
Summary     166
The War on Poverty     167
The Wilderness Act and Conservation     174
The Civil Rights Act of 1964     179
The Origins of Medicare and Medicaid     183
Elementary and Secondary Education Act     188
Marines in the Dominican Republic     193
The Voting Rights Act of 1965     198
Hart-Cellar Immigration Act of 1965     204
The Air War in Vietnam     211
The Ground War in Vietnam     218
Urban Renewal and the Model Cities Program      227
Bibliography     237
Index     241
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