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James Carville famously reminded Bill Clinton throughout 1992 that "it's the economy, stupid." Yet, for the last forty years, historians of modern America have ignored the economy to focus on cultural, social, and political themes, from the birth of modern feminism to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now a scholar has stepped forward to place the economy back in its rightful place, at the center of his historical narrative. In More, Robert M. Collins reexamines the history of the United States from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, focusing on the federal government's determined pursuit of economic growth. After tracing the emergence of growth as a priority during FDR's presidency, Collins explores the record of successive administrations, highlighting both their success in fostering growth and its partisan uses. Collins reveals that the obsession with growth appears not only as a matter of policy, but as an expression of Cold War ideology--both a means to pay for the arms build-up and proof of the superiority of the United States' market economy. But under Johnson, this enthusiasm sparked a crisis: spending on Vietnam unleashed runaway inflation, while the nation struggled with the moral consequences of its prosperity, reflected in books such as John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. More continues up to the end of the 1990s, as Collins explains the real impact of Reagan's policies and astutely assesses Clinton's "disciplined growthmanship," which combined deficit reduction and a relaxed but watchful monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. Writing with eloquence and analytical clarity, Robert M. Collins offers a startlingly new framework for understanding the history of postwar America.
Robert Collins examines the critical and controversial developments of the 1980s and the unmistakable influence of Ronald Reagan on their making. Portraying the former president as a complex political figure who combined ideological conservatism with political pragmatism, Collins demonstrates how Reagan's policies helped limit the scope of government, control inflation, reduce the threat of nuclear war, and defeat communism. In the 1980s other changes occurred as well, including the advent of the personal computer, a revolution in information technology, a more globalized national economy, and a restructuring of the American corporation. In the realm of culture, MTV, self-help gurus, and postmodernism realized the cultural shifts of the postwar era, creating a conflict that pitted cultural conservatism against a secular, multicultural view of the world. Entertaining and erudite, Transforming America explores the events, movements, and ideas that profoundly changed American culture and politics during an important decade.
This history of America’s recent past focuses on the importance of the United States’ interaction with the outside world and includes detailed accounts of the presidencies of Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. Provides a substantial account of the dramatic history of America since 1980, covering the Reagan years, the Clinton presidency, the impact of 9/11, the War on Terror, and the election of Barack Obama Based on both secondary and primary resources, and includes research taken from newspapers, magazines, official documents, and memoirs Written by a distinguished contemporary historian and a leading historian of the United States Discusses the growing fragmentation of American society and the increasing distance between rich and poor under the impact of public policies and global forces
"This is comparative politics at its very best. Vogel takes the reader on a fascinating transatlantic journey to show how and why regulatory leadership shifts with political pressures, elite preferences, and new views on risk management. His book should be required reading for everyone concerned about the safety of man and environment."--Lennart J. Lundqvist, University of Gothenburg, Sweden "Written by an eminent and eloquent scholar in the field, "The Politics of Precaution" addresses a major issue in risk regulation and transatlantic relations. The book's central claim is that there has been an overall shift from greater American to greater European relative precaution and stringency in risk regulation. Whether one agrees with that claim or not, one must contend with Vogel's argument."--Jonathan B. Wiener, Duke University and coeditor of "The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the United States and Europe" ""The Politics of Precaution" challenges some commonly held views about the political economy of regulation. The book will serve as a useful counter to those given to easy assumptions about the differences in how Europeans and Americans regulate similar consumer and environmental risks."--Keith Hawkins, professor emeritus of law and society, University of Oxford ""The Politics of Precaution" addresses an intriguing transatlantic topic, contains a wealth of interesting case studies, and is written by a seasoned and perceptive scholar. It is a serious contribution to the literature."--John D. Graham, Indiana University
The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption offers a timely overview of how our understanding of consumption in history has changed in the last generation.
Phoenix, Arizona is one of America's fastest growing metropolitan regions. It is also its least sustainable one, sprawling over a thousand square miles, with a population of four and a half million, minimal rainfall, scorching heat, and an insatiable appetite for unrestrained growth and unrestricted property rights. In Bird on Fire, eminent social and cultural analyst Andrew Ross focuses on the prospects for sustainability in Phoenix--a city in the bull's eye of global warming--and also the obstacles that stand in the way. Most authors writing on sustainable cities look at places that have excellent public transit systems and relatively high density, such as Portland, Seattle, or New York. But Ross contends that if we can't change the game in fast-growing, low-density cities like Phoenix, the whole movement has a major problem. Drawing on interviews with 200 influential residents--from state legislators, urban planners, developers, and green business advocates to civil rights champions, energy lobbyists, solar entrepreneurs, and community activists--Ross argues that if Phoenix is ever to become sustainable, it will occur more through political and social change than through technological fixes. Ross explains how Arizona's increasingly xenophobic immigration laws, science-denying legislature, and growth-at-all-costs business ethic have perpetuated social injustice and environmental degradation. But he also highlights the positive changes happening in Phoenix, in particular the Gila River Indian Community's successful struggle to win back its water rights, potentially shifting resources away from new housing developments to producing healthy local food for the people of the Phoenix Basin. Ross argues that this victory may serve as a new model for how green democracy can work, redressing the claims of those who have been aggrieved in a way that creates long-term benefits for all. Bird on Fire offers a compelling take on one of the pressing issues of our time--finding pathways to sustainability at a time when governments are dismally failing in their responsibility to address climate change.
In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II fueled our pervasive consumer mentality and transformed American life. Trumpeted as a means to promote the general welfare, mass consumption quickly outgrew its economic objectives and became synonymous with patriotism, social equality, and the American Dream. Material goods came to embody the promise of America, and the power of consumers to purchase everything from vacuum cleaners to convertibles gave rise to the power of citizens to purchase political influence and effect social change. Yet despite undeniable successes and unprecedented affluence, mass consumption also fostered economic inequality and the fracturing of society along gender, class, and racial lines. In charting the complex legacy of our “Consumers’ Republic” Lizabeth Cohen has written a bold, encompassing, and profoundly influential book. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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