American Maelstrom : the 1968 election and the politics of by Michael A. Cohen

By Michael A. Cohen

"In his presidential inaugural handle of January 1965, Lyndon Johnson provided an uplifting imaginative and prescient for the United States, one who might finish poverty and racial injustice. Elected in a landslide over the conservative Republican Barry Goldwater and reinforced through the so-called liberal consensus, fiscal prosperity, and a powerful wave of nostalgia for his martyred predecessor, John Kennedy, Johnson introduced the main ambitious Read more...

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an exhilarating account of the 1968 presidential election and its influence at the subsequent 4 a long time of yankee politics Read more...

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Each would leave an indelible stamp on 1968 and the years that followed. So while the election of 1968 can be retold in many ways, the stories of these nine men offer the most compelling approach. This book will thus focus on the campaigns they ran, the decisions they made (and did not make), and their ultimate effect on the final outcome. Eugene McCarthy is today seen as a political gadfly, a second fiddle in 1968 to the much more prominent Robert Kennedy. But his decision to challenge Lyndon Johnson, which would contribute directly to LBJ’s eventual withdrawal from the ’68 race, ended up being the most important decision of the entire campaign— and the one most responsible for the drama that unfolded that year.

But even here, Americans were of two minds. On the one hand, they strongly endorsed civil rights measures such as equal employment opportunity and equal access to public accommodations. After the passage of the Civil Rights Bill in 1964 this support continued to rise. The instrumentals, on the other hand—open housing, integrated schools, and black entry into white-­ dominated workplaces—created enormous friction. As African Americans pushed for greater economic and social opportunities, whites who felt threatened by their advances pushed back.

After 1968, the size of government didn’t shrink. In fact, it grew in size and responsibility—but never with the same vitality and focus as it had in the mid-1960s. 20 No one element drove the backlash quite like its racial component. But even here, Americans were of two minds. On the one hand, they strongly endorsed civil rights measures such as equal employment opportunity and equal access to public accommodations. After the passage of the Civil Rights Bill in 1964 this support continued to rise.

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