The Making of Modern America: The Nation from 1945 to the Present

Overview

The second edition of Dr. Gary A. Donaldson’s highly successful textbook The Making of Modern America, introduces students to the cultural, social and political paths the United States has traveled from the end of WWII to the present day. While deftly cataloguing the sweeping changes and major events in America from “Dewey Defeats Truman” through the election of our first black President, this newly updated edition never loses touch with that American history taking place at the level of the people. This edition ...

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The Making of Modern America: The Nation from 1945 to the Present

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Overview

The second edition of Dr. Gary A. Donaldson’s highly successful textbook The Making of Modern America, introduces students to the cultural, social and political paths the United States has traveled from the end of WWII to the present day. While deftly cataloguing the sweeping changes and major events in America from “Dewey Defeats Truman” through the election of our first black President, this newly updated edition never loses touch with that American history taking place at the level of the people. This edition details not just the United States’ rich cultural history, but elegantly repositions it as integral to our understanding of any portion of this country’s past. Donaldson provides a factual foundation for students and then pushes them to interpret those facts, framing the discussions essential to any complete study of American history.

The Making of Modern America, Second Edition is updated to include:
—An expanded chapter titled “America After the New Millenium” which more retrospectively and completely details the 21st century’s first decade.
—A new chapter titled “The Second Bush and Obama: From the War on Terrorism to the Audacity of Hope” updating readers on the calamitous end to President George W. Bush’s second term, the Obama administration’s first term challenges and the Great Recession.
—Newly revised readings each profiling an historical event, speech or figure—Lee Harvey 'swald to Bill Gates to Condoleeza Rice— at the conclusion of each chapter.

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Editorial Reviews

Edward J. Tassinari
[An] excellent overview of the period. [A] nice blend of politics, economics, foreign relations and pop culture.
Anthony O. Edmonds
By far the best text available for post-1945 U.S. history courses. Donaldson deftly integrates political, diplomatic, social, and cultural history in a style that will engage undergraduates. Especially interesting is his treatment of science and medicine, important topics often receiving scant attention in textbooks. I plan to adopt The Making of Making of America in my own course.
John Stranges
The Making of Modern America is detailed enough without losing sight of its central themes. It also leaves room for disagreement with some of the interpretations. Very readable!
Randy Roberts
Gary Donaldson's sparkling book begins like Only Yesterday and ends like yesterday's New York Times. It is our story—how America and the Allies' triumph in World War II opened doors of bright possibilities that ended in nightmares. From Hiroshima to Baghdad, from prosperity to economic collapse—Donaldson's book makes sense out of the dreams of the Baby Boomers and the angst of Generation X. It is the story of bold plans and unintended consequences.
Journal Of Southern History
In The Making of Modern America: The Nation from 1945 to the Present, Gary A. Donaldson makes a valiant effort to take his student readers from... the bombing of Nagasaki to the inauguration of Barack Obama.... Will students find basic facts here? Yes.
The Journal Of Southern History
In The Making of Modern America, Gary A. Donaldson makes a valiant effort to take his student readers from . . . the bombing of Nagasaki to the inauguration of Barack Obama. . . . Will students find basic facts here? Yes.
The Journal of Southern History
In The Making of Modern America: The Nation from 1945 to the Present, Gary A. Donaldson makes a valiant effort to take his student readers from... the bombing of Nagasaki to the inauguration of Barack Obama.... Will students find basic facts here? Yes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442209572
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/18/2012
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 378
  • Sales rank: 1,452,456
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary A. Donaldson (PhD, LSU) is the Keller Foundation Chair in American History at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. He is the author of numerous books on American political and diplomatic history.

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Table of Contents

Preface

1 Postwar Adjustments
Enter Harry Truman, the "Little Man from Missouri"
The Postwar Economy and Its Impact
The American Family
The Changing Place of Women
Truman, the Economy, and Organized Labor
Origins of the Modern Civil Rights Movement
Truman, the Eightieth Congress, and the Election of 1948
The Fair Deal and Truman's Second Term
Conclusion
Reading: A. Philip Randolph

2 The Early Cold War
Yalta and the End of the War
Harry Truman and the Growth of Conflict
The Architects of Containment
Berlin Crisis and NATO
Cold War in Asia and the Origins of the Korea Conflict
NSC-68 and the Redirection of American Foreign Policy
The Cold War Comes Home
Korea, "The Forgotten War"
The 1952 Campaign and the End of an Era
Conclusion
Reading: Truman and Israel

3 Affluence and Anxiety: America in the 1950s
The Family
It Was All on TV
Cinema in the Fifties
Cool Culture
The Beats
Advances in Medical and Biological Science
Literary Genres
Drama and Theater
The New American Religion
Conclusion
Reading: A Little Bit of Rock 'n' Roll

4 The Eisenhower Presidency
Eisenhower and Domestic Policy
A "New Look" at Foreign Policy
Covert Operations in Iran and Guatemala
The Suez Crisis and America's Postwar Involvement in the Middle East
The Hungarian Crisis
Early Involvement in Southeast Asia
Problems in Cuba
McCarthyism, Anti-Communist Hysteria, and Conformity at Home
Second Reconstruction: Civil Rights in the Fifties
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
Montgomery and King
Little Rock
The Politics of Civil Rights and the Civil Rights Act of 1957
Conclusion
Reading: Sputnik and the Space Race

5 Kennedy at Home and Abroad
Election of 1960
The Best and the Brightest
The New Frontier
The Second Reconstruction—Continued
Freedom Rides
Birmingham/Bombingham
A Most Dangerous Time
Cuba and the Bay of Pigs
Berlin and the Wall
The Cuban Missile Crisis
JFK and Vietnam
Tragedy in Dallas
Conclusion
Reading: Lee Harvey 'swald

6 "We Shall Continue"
Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedy Legacy
The Election of 1964 and the Liberal Mandate
Great Society
The Second Reconstruction—Continued
Freedom Summer
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Selma and Voting Rights
Lyndon Johnson's War
Conclusion
Reading: Lyndon Johnson, "Promises to Keep," Johns Hopkins University Speech, April 7, 1965

7 The Nation in the 1960s
Youth Culture: From Birth to Fad
The Americanization of the War
The Antiwar Movement and the New Left
"I Will Not Accept": The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson
The 1968 Campaign
Black Power and the Radicalization of the Civil Rights Movement
Urban Riots
Backlash
A Call for Social Change and Recognition
The New American Feminism
On "The Pill"
Conclusion
Reading: Space, the Final Frontier

8 Out of the 1960s and into the 1970s: The Agony of Change
Nixon in the White House
Nixon Looks at the World
The Legacy of Vietnam
Détente
Nixon and China
Watergate and the Resignation of a President
Conclusion
Reading: A Golden Age: Sports from the Mid-1960s to the Mid-1970s

9 America in the 1970s: The Post-Watergate Years
Taking Stock: A Statistical Analysis
The Accession of Gerald Ford
Politics, War, and the Oil Shock
Rise of the Computer
Foreign Affairs under Ford
The New Environmentalism
Election of 1976
The Carter Presidency: The Domestic Front
The Carter Presidency: Foreign Affairs
Debacle in the Middle East
Presidential Campaign of 1980
Conclusion
Reading: Jonestown

10 The Reagan Years
Reagan the Man
Reaganomics
The New Cold War
Central America
Reagan in the Middle East—and Lebanon
SDI and U.S.-Soviet Relations
Culture and Society of the 1980s and the Rise of the Religious Right
War on Drugs
AIDS, "The Gay Epidemic"
Education in the Reagan Years
The "Me" Generation and the Culture of Narcissism
Reagan in His Second Administration
Iran-Contra
The Eighties Character
The 1988 Campaign
Conclusion
Reading: Ronald Reagan's Farewell Address, January 11, 1989

11 The Kinder, Gentler Conservatism of George H. W. Bush
The First President Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty
Bush and the World
The Collapse of the Soviet Union
The First Gulf War
America at Home
The Continued AIDS Crisis
The Environment and George Bush
The New Court
The New Diversity
A Divided Black America
1992 Campaign
Conclusion
Reading: America's New Feminism

12 Bill Clinton's America
Partisanship Reborn
An Economic Focus out of the Box
Health Care
The "New Clinton"
Republican Ascension
The Go-Go 1990s
Foreign Policy in the Clinton Administration
Terrorism, Foreign and Domestic
The 1996 Campaign and More Moderation
Kosovo
Scandal and "Monicagate"
Bush versus Gore: Election of 2000
Conclusion
Reading: O. J.

13 America after the New Millennium
African Americans in the New Century
Affirmative Action
Immigration and Multiculturalism
The Abortion Debate
Gay Rights
Stem Cell Research, Intelligent Design, and Terry Schiavo
The Graying of America
The Environment and Global Warming
The New Economy
The Origins of the Internet and the Computer Culture
Medical Science: The Human Genome Project
Conclusion
Reading: Bill Gates

14 The Second Bush and Obama: From the War on Terrorism to the Audacity of Hope
George W. Bush
The War on Terror
The End of the Boom Economy
The 2004 Election
The Growing Problems in Iraq
The New Nuclear Threat
Disaster at Home
A Statistician's View
The New Politics
The Great Recession
The U.S. in the Modern World
Conclusion
Reading: Condoleezza Rice

Selected Bibliography
Index
About the Author

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