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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Making of Modern America: The Nation from 1945 to the Present

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

by Gary A. Donaldson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900742548205
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/16/2009
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 378
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Postwar Adjustments 1

Enter Harry Truman, the "Little Man from Missouri" 2

The Postwar Economy and Its Impact 4

The American Family 6

The Changing Place of Women 7

Truman, the Economy, and Organized Labor 9

Origins of the Modern Civil Rights Movement 11

Truman, the Eightieth Congress, and the Election of 1948 14

The Fair Deal and Truman's Second Term 19

Conclusion 22

Reading: A. Philip Randolph 22

2 The Early Cold War 25

Yalta and the End of the War 25

Harry Truman and the Growth of Conflict 29

The Architects of Containment 34

Berlin Crisis and NATO 36

Cold War in Asia and the Origins of the Korea Conflict 38

NSC-68 and the Redirection of American Foreign Policy 40

The Cold War Comes Home 40

Korea, "The Forgotten War" 44

The 1952 Campaign and the End of an Era 48

Conclusion 50

Reading: Truman and Israel 51

3 Affluence and Anxiety: America in the 1950s 53

The Family 53

It Was All on TV 55

Cinema in the Fifties 58

Cool Culture 60

The Beats 63

Advances in Medical and Biological Science 64

Literary Genres 66

Drama and Theater 67

The New American Religion 68

Conclusion 70

Reading: A Little Bit of Rock 'n' Roll 70

4 The Eisenhower Presidency 73

Eisenhower and Domestic Policy 74

A "New Look" at Foreign Policy 76

Covert Operations in Iran and Guatemala 79

The Suez Crisis and America's Postwar Involvement in the Middle East 80

The Hungarian Crisis 83

Early Involvement in Southeast Asia 83

Problems in Cuba 85

McCarthyism, Anti-Communist Hysteria, and Conformity at Home 86

Second Reconstruction: Civil Rights in the Fifties 89

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas90

Montgomery and King 92

Little Rock 94

The Politics of Civil Rights and the Civil Rights Act of 1957 95

Conclusion 97

Reading: Sputnik and the Space Race 97

5 Kennedy at Home and Abroad 99

Election of 1960 99

The Best and the Brightest 103

The New Frontier 105

The Second Reconstruction-Continued 107

Freedom Rides 108

Birmingham/Bombingham 109

A Most Dangerous Time 110

Cuba and the Bay of Pigs 113

Berlin and the Wall 114

The Cuban Missile Crisis 116

JFK and Vietnam 120

Tragedy in Dallas 122

Conclusion 124

Reading: Lee Harvey Oswald 125

6 "We Shall Continue" 129

Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedy Legacy 131

The Election of 1964 and the Liberal Mandate 133

Great Society 135

The Second Reconstruction-Continued 140

Freedom Summer 142

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party 143

Selma and Voting Rights 144

Lyndon Johnson's War 147

Conclusion 151

Reading: Lyndon Johnson, "Promises to Keep," Johns Hopkins University Speech, April 7, 1965 152

7 The Nation in the 1960s 155

Youth Culture: From Birth to Fad 155

The Americanization of the War 159

The Antiwar Movement and the New Left 166

"I Will Not Accept": The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson 167

The 1968 Campaign 168

Black Power and the Radicalization of the Civil Rights Movement 171

Urban Riots 173

Backlash 175

A Call for Social Change and Recognition 176

The New American Feminism 179

On "The Pill" 181

Conclusion 182

Reading: Space, the Final Frontier 183

8 Out of the 1960s and into the 1970s: The Agony of Change 185

Nixon in the White House 186

Nixon Looks at the World 188

The Legacy of Vietnam 193

Détente 194

Nixon and China 195

Watergate and the Resignation of a President 196

Conclusion 199

Reading: A Golden Age: Sports from the Mid-1960s to the Mid-1970s 200

9 America in the 1970s: The Post-Watergate Years 203

Taking Stock: A Statistical Analysis 204

The Accession of Gerald Ford 204

Politics, War, and the Oil Shock 206

Rise of the Computer 211

Foreign Affairs under Ford 212

The New Environmentalism 214

Election of 1976 216

The Carter Presidency: The Domestic Front 217

The Carter Presidency: Foreign Affairs 219

Debacle in the Middle East 220

Presidential Campaign of 1980 222

Conclusion 225

Reading: Jonestown 225

10 The Reagan Years 229

Reagan the Man 230

Reaganomics 232

The New Cold War 233

Central America 234

Reagan in the Middle East-and Lebanon 236

SDI and U.S.-Soviet Relations 236

Culture and Society of the 1980s and the Rise of the Religious Right 237

War on Drugs 239

AIDS, "The Gay Epidemic" 240

Education in the Reagan Years 241

The "Me" Generation and the Culture of Narcissism 242

Reagan in His Second Administration 244

Iran-Contra 245

The Eighties Character 247

The 1988 Campaign 249

Conclusion 251

Reading: Ronald Reagan's Farewell Address, January 11, 1989 251

11 The Kinder, Gentler Conservatism of George H. W. Bush 255

The First President Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty 256

Bush and the World 257

The Collapse of the Soviet Union 258

The First Gulf War 261

America at Home 263

The Continued AIDS Crisis 264

The Environment and George Bush 265

The New Court 266

The New Diversity 267

A Divided Black America 269

1992 Campaign 271

Conclusion 273

Reading: America's New Feminism 274

12 Bill Clinton's America 277

Partisanship Reborn 279

An Economic Focus out of the Box 281

Health Care 281

The "New Clinton" 282

Republican Ascension 283

The Go-Go 1990s 284

Foreign Policy in the Clinton Administration 285

Terrorism, Foreign and Domestic 288

The 1996 Campaign and More Moderation 289

Kosovo 291

Scandal and "Monicagate" 292

Bush versus Gore: Election of 2000 294

Conclusion 297

Reading: O.J. 298

13 Taking Stock: America at the New Millennium 301

African Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century 302

Affirmative Action 303

Immigration and Multiculturalism 304

The Abortion Debate 306

Gay Rights 307

Stem Cell Research, Intelligent Design, and Terry Schiavo 307

The Graying of America 310

The Environment and Global Warming 311

The New Economy 314

The Origins of the Internet and the Computer Culture 316

Medical Science: The Human Genome Project 317

Conclusion 317

Reading: Bill Gates 318

14 The Life and Times of George W. Bush 321

George W. Bush 322

The War on Terror 323

The End of the Boom Economy 328

The 2004 Election 331

The Growing Problems in Iraq 334

The New Nuclear Threat 336

Disaster at Home 338

A Statistician's View 339

Conclusion 339

Reading: George W. Bush, "Axis of Evil" Speech, State of the Union, January 2002 340

Epilogue: The Obama Election: A Defining Moment? 345

Selected Bibliography 349

Index 355

About the Author 365

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