The Liberal Hour
Author: Robert Weisbrot, G. Calvin Mackenzie
An engaging be hind-the-scenes look at the lesser-known forces that fueled the profound social reforms of the 1960s Provocative and incisive , The Liberal Hour reveals how Washington, so often portrayed as a target of reform in the 1960s, was in fact the era's most effective engine of change. The movements of the 1960s have always drawn the most attention from the decade's chroniclers, but it was in the halls of government-so often the target of protesters' wrath-that the enduring reforms of the era were produced. With nuance and panache, Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot present the real-life characters-from giants like JFK and Johnson to lesser-known senators and congressmen-who drove these reforms and were critical to the passage of key legislation. The Liberal Hour offers an engrossing portrait of this extraordinary moment when more progressive legislation was passed than in almost any other era in American history.
The Parties Respond
Author: Mark D. Brewer
As a survey of the most current and significant issues affecting party politics in the United States, The Parties Respond has become a standard for reference and college course use. Mark Brewer and L. Sandy Maisel draw together leading scholars for thirteen original essays. The topics addressed include partisanship in the electorate, parties and the media revolution, the campaign and election process, and parties in government. The fifth edition is significantly revised with twelve new chapters, bringing each of these topics up to date for the modern political arena and highlighting the many changes in party politics over the past ten years.
Arsenal of Democracy
Author: Julian E. Zelizer
Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
In a book based on original archival findings, a prize-winning historian and author of Taxing America offers a sweeping history of the interplay between United States domestic politics and foreign policy since World War II.
Author: Eric Alterman
A history of American liberalism since the Great Depression traces the pivotal roles of leading contributors, describing how their ambitions, flaws and successes have shaped the nation's government, media, entertainment and more. Reprint. 22,500 first printing.
America in Our Time
Author: Godfrey Hodgson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
With a new afterword by the author
Why We're Liberals
Author: Eric Alterman
The bestselling author and Newsweek columnist takes a characteristically irreverent look at the rampant mistreatment of liberals and liberalism The "most honest and incisive media critic writing today"(National Catholic Reporter), Eric Alterman is committed to restoring the liberal tradition to its honored place as the political philosophy of mainstream American citizens. In this bracing and well-documented counterattack on right- wing spin and misinformation, Alterman briskly disposes of the canards and false definitions that have been foisted upon liberals by the right and have been accepted unquestioningly by nearly everyone else. The perfect post-election book for all those who are ready to fight back against the conservative mudslinging machine and reclaim their voices in the political process, Why We're Liberals brings clarity and perspective to the possibility of a new day in America.
This is a story about a rare event in America: a radical shift in national social policy. Its precondition was a broader social revolution, the black civil rights movement that surged up from the South, followed by the nationwide rebirth of the feminist movement. The story's main focus, federal policy in civil rights during 1960-72, was originally conceived, like most studies of civil rights, as centering almost exclusively on racial policy. But the evidence and the logic of civil rights theory demanded an inclusion of gender as well as racial policy. - Introduction.
"The most consistent and courageous—and unapologetic—liberal partisan in American journalism." —Michael Tomasky, New York Review of Books In this "clear, provocative" (Boston Globe) New York Times bestseller, Paul Krugman, today's most widely read economist, examines the past eighty years of American history, from the reforms that tamed the harsh inequality of the Gilded Age and the 1920s to the unraveling of that achievement and the reemergence of immense economic and political inequality since the 1970s. Seeking to understand both what happened to middle-class America and what it will take to achieve a "new New Deal," Krugman has created his finest book to date, a "stimulating manifesto" offering "a compelling historical defense of liberalism and a clarion call for Americans to retake control of their economic destiny" (Publishers Weekly). "As Democrats seek a rationale not merely for returning to power, but for fundamentally changing—or changing back—the relationship between America's government and its citizens, Mr. Krugman's arguments will prove vital in the months and years ahead." —Peter Beinart, New York Times
The liberal class plays a vital role in a democracy. It gives moral legitimacy to the state. It makes limited forms of dissent and incremental change possible. The liberal class posits itself as the conscience of the nation. It permits us, through its appeal to public virtues and the public good, to define ourselves as a good and noble people. Most importantly, on behalf of the power elite the liberal class serves as bulwarks against radical movements by offering a safety valve for popular frustrations and discontentment by discrediting those who talk of profound structural change. Once this class loses its social and political role then the delicate fabric of a democracy breaks down and the liberal class, along with the values it espouses, becomes an object of ridicule and hatred. The door that has been opened to proto-fascists has been opened by a bankrupt liberalism The Death of the Liberal Class examines the failure of the liberal class to confront the rise of the corporate state and the consequences of a liberalism that has become profoundly bankrupted. Hedges argues there are five pillars of the liberal establishment – the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities and the Democratic Party— and that each of these institutions, more concerned with status and privilege than justice and progress, sold out the constituents they represented. In doing so, the liberal class has become irrelevant to society at large and ultimately the corporate power elite they once served.
The second title in the ground-breaking Milestone Document series, this new set pairs primary source texts with expert analysis by esteemed historians. Milestone Documents of American Leaders features important full-text sources written by presidents, jurists, legislators and other influential people who helped shape the nation.
A majestic big-picture account of the Great Society and the forces that shaped it, from Lyndon Johnson and members of Congress to the civil rights movement and the media Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal, one whose ambition and achievement have had no parallel since. In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts; the War on Poverty program; Medicare and Medicaid; the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities; Public Broadcasting; immigration liberalization; a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts; and major federal investments in public transportation. Collectively, this group of achievements was labeled by Johnson and his team the “Great Society.” In The Fierce Urgency of Now, Julian E. Zelizer takes the full measure of the entire story in all its epic sweep. Before Johnson, Kennedy tried and failed to achieve many of these advances. Our practiced understanding is that this was an unprecedented “liberal hour” in America, a moment, after Kennedy’s death, when the seas parted and Johnson could simply stroll through to victory. As Zelizer shows, this view is off-base: In many respects America was even more conservative than it seems now, and Johnson’s legislative program faced bitter resistance. The Fierce Urgency of Now animates the full spectrum of forces at play during these turbulent years, including religious groups, the media, conservative and liberal political action groups, unions, and civil rights activists. Above all, the great character in the book whose role rivals Johnson’s is Congress—indeed, Zelizer argues that our understanding of the Great Society program is too Johnson-centric. He discusses why Congress was so receptive to passing these ideas in a remarkably short span of time and how the election of 1964 and burgeoning civil rights movement transformed conditions on Capitol Hill. Zelizer brings a deep, intimate knowledge of the institution to bear on his story: The book is a master class in American political grand strategy. Finally, Zelizer reckons with the legacy of the Great Society. Though our politics have changed, the heart of the Great Society legislation remains intact fifty years later. In fact, he argues, the Great Society shifted the American political center of gravity—and our social landscape—decisively to the left in many crucial respects. In a very real sense, we are living today in the country that Johnson and his Congress made.
We Do Our Part
Author: Charles Peters
Publisher: Random House
Charles Peters tells the story of “how Democrats lost their way—and how they can find it again” (The Washington Post) in a book “full of vivid, funny, often touching anecdotes” (The Atlantic). “We Do Our Part” was the slogan of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration—and it captured the can-do spirit that allowed America to survive the Great Depression and win World War II. Over the course of a sixty-year career as a Washington, D.C., journalist and historian, Peters, the founder of the Washington Monthly, has witnessed drastic changes firsthand. Ranging from the history of lobbying to the explosion of high-end fashion and travel reporting, this surprising book explains how we can consolidate the gains we have made while recapturing the generous spirit we have lost. We Do Our Part is entertaining, insightful, and engaging. Spanning decades of politics and culture, Peters compares the flood of talented, original thinkers who flowed into the nation’s capital to join FDR’s administration with the tide of self-serving government staffers who left to exploit their opportunities on Wall Street and as lobbyists from the 1970s to today. During the same period, the economic divide between rich and poor grew, as we shifted from a culture of generosity to one of personal aggrandizement. With the wisdom of a prophet and the wit of a great storyteller, Peters connects these two trends by showing how this money-fueled elitism has diminished our trust in one another and our nation—and changed Washington for the worse. If liberal Democrats—and Peters is one—want to win again, they need to be fair to everyone, including the working man who was once essential to the party of FDR. We Do Our Part shows us where we have been and where we are going, drawn from the invaluable perspective of a man who has seen America’s better days and still believes in the promise that lies ahead. Praise for We Do Our Part “[Peters] weaves a synthesis of mainstream and progressive, centrist and popular thought that would re-anchor the Democratic Party, both in its own traditions and in outreach to the restless, angry swath of the country that elected President Trump. . . . Peters is an American original.”—The Washington Post “A great book about modern American history.”—Chris Matthews, Hardball “Part joyful memoir, part shrewd political analysis, and part insightful cultural criticism . . . [Peters] offers a keen understanding of where the Democrats went wrong in scorning the kind of people in Appalachia that he grew up with”—Walter Shapiro, Roll Call “We Do Our Part is not directly about the Trump era or phenomenon, though Charlie gets to Trump at the end. But it is all about the resentful, unequal, uncaring parts of today’s American culture that Trump has inflamed and that have made Trump possible—and how to cope with them.”—James Fallows, The Atlantic “An important book . . . The truth [Charles] Peters aims to impart in this book is one that all Americans, and especially liberals, need to understand: An America in which the elite serves the interests of the majority isn’t a pipe dream.”—Washington Monthly “A thoughtful, well-reasoned argument for American citizens to pull back from political brinksmanship and embrace the values of the Roosevelt era.”—Kirkus Reviews “A wise and brilliant book by a wise and brilliant man . . . Everyone should read it.”—Nicholas Thompson, editor, newyorker.com
The Imperiled Presidency
Author: G. Calvin Mackenzie
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
The Imperiled Presidency: Presidential Leadership in the 21st Century calls for a dramatic re-evaluation of the American president’s role within the separation of powers system. In contrast with claims by academics, pundits, media, and members of Congress, this provocative new book argues that the contemporary American presidency is too weak rather than too strong. Cal Mackenzie offers the contrarian argument that the real constitutional crisis in contemporary American politics is not the centralization and accumulation of power in the presidency, but rather that effective governance is imperiled by the diminished role of the presidency. The product of more than three years of research and writing and nearly four decades of the author’s teaching and writing about the American presidency, The Imperiled Presidency is the first book-length treatment of the weaknesses of the modern presidency, written to be accessible to undergraduates and interested citizens alike. It engages with a wide range of literature that relates to the presidency, including electoral politics, budgetary politics, administrative appointments, and the conduct of foreign affairs. It would be a useful complement to courses that rely primarily on a single textbook, as well as courses that are built around more specific readings from a range of books and articles.