Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s

Overview

A penetrating and provocative portrait of a critical decade in American history, Rightward Bound illuminates the seeds of both the successes and the failures of the conservative revolution. It helps us understand how, despite conservatism's rise, persistent tensions remain today between its political power and the achievements of twentieth-century liberalism.
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Overview

A penetrating and provocative portrait of a critical decade in American history, Rightward Bound illuminates the seeds of both the successes and the failures of the conservative revolution. It helps us understand how, despite conservatism's rise, persistent tensions remain today between its political power and the achievements of twentieth-century liberalism.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

popmatters.com

Rightward Bound arrives at a prescient moment. Modern American conservatism is far from its political death, but the ruinous legacy of George W. Bush has helped dash Karl Rove's dreams of a permanent majority. Culturally, the story is similar. Annual abortion numbers have remained steady, public acceptance of gay rights continues to increase, and immigration has failed as a Republican wedge issue. So what are the reasons for this mixed record? As co-editors Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer argue, the movement's past has much to say about the contemporary condition....It is a highly important and useful study, and one that offers scholars a new way of grasping conservatism. Just as importantly, this is a book that will hopefully be valuable to a broader general audience. If the public is to make sense of why the conservative revolution faces an uncertain future, they must look backwards as well, and appreciate its laborious beginning.
— Christopher Martin

The Nation

An uncommonly coherent collection of innovative essays.
— Corey Robin

Popmatters.com

A highly important and useful study, and one that offers scholars a new way of grasping conservatism. Just as importantly, this is a book that will hopefully be valuable to a broader general audience. If the public is to make sense of why the conservative revolution faces an uncertain future, they must look backwards as well, and appreciate its laborious beginning.
— Christopher Martin

American Prospect

One of the great virtues of Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, the helpful collection of essays edited by Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer, is that it gathers in one place many of the best young left-of-center historians working on the rise of the right. Conservatives will take issue with many of the book's conclusions; they cannot say any longer, as they once could, that the liberal academy doesn't take conservatism seriously.
— E. J. Dionne

Laura Kalman
Rightward Bound brilliantly demonstrates how American conservatism emerged as a full-blown movement in the 1970s and, in the process, created the United States of the twenty-first century. It is a wonderful book!
Nelson Lichtenstein
A new generation of American historians demonstrates that the decade of the 1970s proved the crucial seed time for the rise of modern American conservatism. There was nothing inevitable about the nation's march to the right, which makes this book all the more fascinating and necessary for those who want to understand twenty-first century America.
Gary Gerstle
Rightward Bound is the most comprehensive and incisive history to date of the conservative mobilization that surged through and transformed the United States in the 1970s. It will prove essential reading for anyone seeking to understand conservative ideologies, institutions, and organizing strategies as well as the complexities of politics and culture in late twentieth-century America.
popmatters.com - Christopher Martin
A highly important and useful study, and one that offers scholars a new way of grasping conservatism. Just as importantly, this is a book that will hopefully be valuable to a broader general audience. If the public is to make sense of why the conservative revolution faces an uncertain future, they must look backwards as well, and appreciate its laborious beginning.
The Nation - Corey Robin
An uncommonly coherent collection of innovative essays.
American Prospect - E. J. Dionne
One of the great virtues of Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, the helpful collection of essays edited by Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer, is that it gathers in one place many of the best young left-of-center historians working on the rise of the right. Conservatives will take issue with many of the book's conclusions; they cannot say any longer, as they once could, that the liberal academy doesn't take conservatism seriously.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674027572
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Schulman is Professor of History at Boston University.

Julian Zelizer is Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction   Bruce J. Schulman   Julian E. Zelizer     1
Mobilizing the Movement
Inventing Family Values   Matthew D. Lassiter     13
The Evangelical Resurgence in 1970s American Protestantism   Paul Boyer     29
Make Payroll, Not War: Business Culture as Youth Culture   Bethany E. Moreton     52
Gender and America's Right Turn   Marjorie J. Spruill     71
Civil Rights and the Religious Right   Joseph Crespino     90
The Decade of the Neighborhood   Suleiman Osman     106
Cultural Politics and the Singer/Songwriters of the 1970s   Bradford Martin     128
Financing the Counterrevolution   Alice O'Connor     148
The Battle Over Policies and Politics
The White Ethnic Strategy   Thomas J. Sugrue   John D. Skrentny     171
The Conservative Struggle and the Energy Crisis   Meg Jacobs     193
Turnabout Years: Public Sector Unionism and the Fiscal Crisis   Joseph A. McCartin     210
Detente and Its Discontents   Jeremi Suri     227
Carter's Nicaragua and Other Democratic Quagmires   Derek N. Buckaloo     246
Conservatives, Carter, and the Politics of National Security   Julian E. Zelizer     265
Epilogue   Bruce J. Schulman   Julian E. Zelizer     289
Notes     295
List of Contributors     349
Index     351
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