Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order

Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order

by James Piereson
Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order

Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order

by James Piereson


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The United States has been shaped by three sweeping political revolutions: Jefferson’s “revolution of 1800,” the Civil War, and the New Deal. Each of these upheavals concluded with lasting institutional and cultural adjustments that set the stage for a new phase of political and economic development. Are we on the verge of another upheaval, a “fourth revolution” that will reshape U.S. politics for decades to come? There are signs to suggest that we are.  

James Piereson describes the inevitable political turmoil that will overtake the United States in the next decade as a consequence of economic stagnation, the unsustainable growth of government, and the exhaustion of postwar arrangements that formerly underpinned American prosperity and power. The challenges of public debt, the retirement of the “baby boom” generation, and slow economic growth have reached a point where they require profound changes in the role of government in American life. At the same time, the widening gulf between the two political parties and the entrenched power of interest groups will make it difficult to negotiate the changes needed to renew the system. 

Shattered Consensus places this impending upheaval in historical context, reminding readers that Americans have faced and overcome similar trials in the past, in relatively brief but intense periods of political conflict. While others claim that the United States is in decline, Piereson argues that Americans will rise to the challenge of forming a new governing coalition that can guide the nation on a path of dynamism and prosperity.    

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594038952
Publisher: Encounter Books
Publication date: 11/08/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 486,227
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is the author of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Kennedy Assassination Shattered American Liberalism (Encounter Books, 2007) and editor of The Pursuit of Liberty: Can the Ideals That Made America Great Provide a Model for the World-yet (Encounter Books, 2008). His essays on politics and culture have appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Criterion, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, and The American Spectator.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

Introduction xxiii

Part I The Political Economy of the Postwar Order

1 John Maynard Keynes and the Collapse of the Old Order 3

2 The Keynesian Revolution in Political Economy 19

3 The New Deal Metaphor 51

4 American Capitalism and the 'Inequality Crisis' 61

5 America's Fourth. Revolution 81

Part II Liberalism and Conservatism

6 Liberalism at High Tide 107

7 Conservative Nation 138

8 Is Conservatism Dead? 151

9 Is Liberalism Dead? 163

10 Investing in Conservative Ideas 175

Part III The Kennedy Legend and the Liberal Ideal

11 The Kennedy Legend 197

12 JFK & Camelot 225

13 Revisiting the Kennedy Assassination after Fifty Years 231

14 Was JFK a Conservative? 251

Part IV The Politics of Higher Education

15 The Left University 261

16 Reflections on The Closing of the American Mind 287

17 What's Wrong with Our Universities? 301

18 Columbia Beats Harvard 321

19 Liberalism versus Humanism 335

Epilogue 349

Acknowledgments 359

Notes 361

Index 371

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