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This sweeping history of twentieth-century America follows the changing and often conflicting ideas about the fundamental nature of American society: Is the United States a social melting pot, as our civic creed warrants, or is full citizenship somehow reserved for those who are white and of the "right" ancestry? Gary Gerstle traces the forces of civic and racial nationalism, arguing that both profoundly shaped our society. After Theodore Roosevelt led his Rough Riders to victory during the Spanish American War, he boasted of the diversity of his men's origins- from the Kentucky backwoods to the Irish, Italian, and Jewish neighborhoods of northeastern cities. Roosevelt's vision of a hybrid and superior "American race," strengthened by war, would inspire the social, diplomatic, and economic policies of American liberals for decades. And yet, for all of its appeal to the civic principles of inclusion, this liberal legacy was grounded in "Anglo-Saxon" culture, making it difficult in particular for Jews and Italians and especially for Asians and African Americans to gain acceptance. Gerstle weaves a compelling story of events, institutions, and ideas that played on perceptions of ethnic/racial difference, from the world wars and the labor movement to the New Deal and Hollywood to the Cold War and the civil rights movement. We witness the remnants of racial thinking among such liberals as FDR and LBJ; we see how Italians and Jews from Frank Capra to the creators of Superman perpetuated the New Deal philosophy while suppressing their own ethnicity; we feel the frustrations of African-American servicemen denied the opportunity to fight for their country and the moral outrage of more recent black activists, including Martin Luther King, Jr. , Fannie Lou Hamer, and Malcolm X. Gerstle argues that the civil rights movement and Vietnam broke the liberal nation apart, and his analysis of this upheaval leads him to assess Reagan's and Clinton's attempts to resurrect nationalism. Can the United States ever live up to its civic creed? For anyone who views racism as an aberration from the liberal premises of the republic, this book is must reading.
American governance is burdened by a paradox. On the one hand, Americans don't want "big government" meddling in their lives; on the other hand, they have repeatedly enlisted governmental help to impose their views regarding marriage, abortion, religion, and schooling on their neighbors. These contradictory stances on the role of public power have paralyzed policymaking and generated rancorous disputes about government's legitimate scope. How did we reach this political impasse? Historian Gary Gerstle, looking at two hundred years of U.S. history, argues that the roots of the current crisis lie in two contrasting theories of power that the Framers inscribed in the Constitution. One theory shaped the federal government, setting limits on its power in order to protect personal liberty. Another theory molded the states, authorizing them to go to extraordinary lengths, even to the point of violating individual rights, to advance the "good and welfare of the commonwealth." The Framers believed these theories could coexist comfortably, but conflict between the two has largely defined American history. Gerstle shows how national political leaders improvised brilliantly to stretch the power of the federal government beyond where it was meant to go--but at the cost of giving private interests and state governments too much sway over public policy. The states could be innovative, too. More impressive was their staying power. Only in the 1960s did the federal government, impelled by the Cold War and civil rights movement, definitively assert its primacy. But as the power of the central state expanded, its constitutional authority did not keep pace. Conservatives rebelled, making the battle over government's proper dominion the defining issue of our time. From the Revolution to the Tea Party, and the Bill of Rights to the national security state, Liberty and Coercion is a revelatory account of the making and unmaking of government in America.
Understanding the past helps us navigate the present and future. When you read this text, you will not only learn about American History, you will be exposed to movies and music that tell the stories of American History in addition to the reading material you expect in a college level history book. A highly respected, balanced, and thoroughly modern approach to US History, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER, uses themes in a unique approach to show how the United States was transformed, in a relatively short time, from a land inhabited by hunter-gatherer and agricultural Native American societies into the most powerful industrial nation on earth. This approach helps you understand not only the impact of the notions of liberty and equality, which are often associated with the American story, but also how dominant and subordinate groups have affected and been affected by the ever-shifting balance of power.
This is Volume I (to 1865) of LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER: A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, CONCISE EDITION, Third Edition. LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER: A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, CONCISE EDITION provides students with a clear understanding of how power is gained, lost, and used in both public and private life. The Third Edition of this concise version retains the narrative clarity, unparalleled coverage, and thematic unity of the larger text while fashioning an unmatched integration of social and cultural history into a political story. The concise version's emphasis on clarity and brevity provides a leaner and clearer presentation for introductory American history students. It retains the same strong chronological and thematic framework as the larger text, but offers a more manageable option for instructors concerned about having too much material and too little time. LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER: A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, CONCISE EDITION is available in the following volume splits: Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, Concise Edition (Chapters 1-31), ISBN: 053426462X; Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, Volume 1: To 1877, Concise Edition (Chapters 1-17), ISBN: 0534264638; Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, Volume II: Since 1863, Concise Edition (Chapters 17-31), ISBN: 0534264646.
Integrating social and cultural history, this college textbook tells the political story of a country that, over a relatively brief period, transformed itself into the most powerful nation on earth, and explores the role of power in shaping American politics, society, and economics. The fifth edition adds a final chapter on Presidents Clinton and Bush. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
As part of the effort to write the clearest, most complete, and most accurate history possible, the authors of this book have included study aids to help one interpret and relate to the stories of the past.
American history textbook.
Developed to meet the demand for a low-cost, high-quality history book, this economically priced version of LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER, Sixth Edition offers the complete narrative while limiting the number of features, photos, and maps. All volumes feature a paperback, two-color format that appeals to those seeking a comprehensive, trade-sized history text. A highly respected, balanced, and thoroughly modern approach to U. S. History, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER uses these three themes in a unique approach to show how the United States was transformed, in a relatively short time, from a land inhabited by hunter-gatherer and agricultural Native American societies into the most powerful industrial nation on earth. This approach helps readers understand not only the impact of the notions of liberty and equality, which are often associated with the American story, but also how dominant and subordinate groups have affected and been affected by the ever-shifting balance of power. The text integrates the best of recent social and cultural scholarship into a political story, offering readers the most comprehensive and complete understanding of American history available.
The ten essays assembled in this book offer some startlingly new interpretations of the anomalies, ironies, and paradoxes that have long contributed to the mystery of the New Deal order.
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