Years of Discord: American Politics and Society, 1961-1974

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"A vivid and masterful account of the terrible discord and violence of those years."—C. Vann Woodward
For fifteen tense and troubled years between the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974, the United States struggled to direct its domestic life and its role in a rapidly changing world.
These fifteen years are as rich as any in American history, rich in incident - the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil rights struggle, the antiwar crusade, the opening of China, Watergate, Kennedy's assassination, Johnson's retirement, the fall of Nixon: rich in personality - Robert Kennedy, Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King, Jr, Earl Warren, Bob Dylan, Henry Kissinger, George Wallace, Hubert Humphrey: and rich, finally in what it tells us of power, its attainment, and its use at home and abroad.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert G. Kaiser - Washington Post
“Once again, John Morton Blum has brought to life a critical period of American history. An illuminating account of the amazing Sixties, and an invaluable contribution to the history of our times.”
Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
“In this incisive, judicious and eminently readable book, a master historian tels the story of those tangled and turbulent years just behind us—years that shook and remolded the republic.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Blum takes a close look at the turbulent era that began with the inauguration of John Kennedy and ended with the Watergate scandal and the resignation of Richard Nixon. Describing the extent to which JFK's initiatives came to fruition under Lyndon Johnson, he shows how the explosive conflicts of the 1960s yielded important social improvements. Aside from a gentle, nonjudgmental approach, the most impressive feature of Blum's study is his emphasis on the influence of the ``youth movement'' on domestic and international issues, particularly in its opposition to the Vietnam war. The book presents the Watergate scandal and its resolution as a kind of climax to 15 years of social and political discord, nuclear confrontation and the Vietnam tragedy. According to Blum, the New Frontier and the Great Society failed to address the endemic nature of poverty. After Nixon's resignation there was ``a return to private affluence and public squalor,'' and the nation showed signs of reverting to a condition not unlike that of 1960. Blum is emeritus professor of history at Yale. Photos. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The decade-and-a-half between 1961 and 1974--from the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy and the resignation from office of President Richard Nixon--are a period of almost unparalleled intensity in American politics: from the optimism of ``Camelot'' to the questioning of America's fundamental being following Vietnam; political events of the magnitude of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the historic China trip; monumental legislative achievements and unresolved public policy issues. Blum focuses almost exclusively on the political history of the era. While others have written about the same years--from Richard Goodwin's Remembering America (Little, Brown, 1988) to Garry Wills's Nixon Agonistes ( LJ 8/70)--this is a solid contribution from the scholar's perspective. Yet it is also an engaging narrative certain to have broad appeal to both the serious student of the era and to the general reader. Highly recommended to all libraries.-- Jerry E. Stephens, U.S. Court of Appeals Lib., Oklahoma City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393309102
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 1,546,934
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

John Morton Blum is the author of many highly regarded books on American political history, includingThe Republican Roosevelt, V Was for Victory, and Years of Discord. He is a Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University.

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