American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century by Martin Halliwell, Catherine Morley

By Martin Halliwell, Catherine Morley

Will the twenty-first century be the following American Century? Will American strength and ideas dominate the globe within the coming years? Or is the status of the U.S. prone to disintegrate underneath the strain of latest foreign challenges?This ground-breaking publication explores the altering styles of yankee inspiration and tradition on the sunrise of the recent millennium, while the world's richest state hasn't ever been extra strong or extra arguable. It brings jointly one of the most eminent North American and eu thinkers to enquire the an important matters and demanding situations dealing with the U.S. in the course of the early years of our new century.From the subterranean political shifts underneath the electoral panorama to the newest biomedical advances, from the literary reaction to Sept. 11 to the increase of truth tv, this ebook explores the political, social and cultural contours of up to date American lifestyles - however it additionally locations the USA inside an international narrative of trade, cultural trade, foreign international relations, ideological clash and warfare. those eighteen new essays tackle such urgent concerns as management, international coverage, propaganda, faith, wellbeing and fitness, know-how, immigration, Sep 11 tradition and electronic media. trying to find the roots of our modern issues, the authors glance again to the Clinton years or even past sessions of twentieth-century American existence. yet in addition they wait for the recent horizons of the century to come back - to the unanticipated risks of an international destiny and to the hovering chances of American firm and mind's eye.

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17 PART 1 POLITICS 1. AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE 1990s AND 2000s Dominic Sandbrook On 11 June 2004, the American people bade farewell to President Ronald Reagan with a day of mourning on a scale not seen for 30 years. For Reagan’s funeral, the first such state occasion since the death of Lyndon Johnson in 1973, the nation appeared united in grief. A few days earlier, more than 100,000 people had filed past the former governor’s coffin at his presidential library in California. In Washington, a similar number queued to pay their respects as Reagan lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda.

15 Although Buchanan’s rhetoric soon passed into political legend, it is worth remembering that at the time his speech was regarded as something of a gaffe, striking a tone of strident negativity that went down less well with the nation at large than did the relentless baby-boomer optimism of the Democratic convention the same year. This is not to deny that cultural issues clearly played a crucial role in electoral politics under Clinton and Bush: in 2004, for example, it was the issue of homosexual marriage that brought out many Republican and independent voters in swing states like Ohio, where Bush benefited from heavy support from church-goers and, especially, Catholics.

Although older historians often blame the searing experiences of the Vietnam War, black urban unrest and the meteoric rise and fall of the counterculture, the real causes were rather more mundane. The passage of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society meant that the promise of the Fair Deal, nursed and nurtured for almost two decades, had largely been fulfilled. Having put most of their proposals into effect, therefore, older liberals had simply run out of ideas. More seriously, however, the premise of painless growth on which their programme had been based was utterly shattered by the economic downturn of the 1970s.

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