By Michael A. Cohen
"In his presidential inaugural deal with of January 1965, Lyndon Johnson provided an uplifting imaginative and prescient for the US, one who may finish poverty and racial injustice. Elected in a landslide over the conservative Republican Barry Goldwater and reinforced by means of the so-called liberal consensus, monetary prosperity, and a powerful wave of nostalgia for his martyred predecessor, John Kennedy, Johnson introduced the main ambitious govt schedule in many years. 3 years later, every thing had replaced. Johnson's approval scores had plummeted; the liberal consensus was once shattered; the warfare in Vietnam splintered the kingdom; and the politics of civil rights had created a fierce white backlash. A document from the nationwide Committee for an efficient Congress warned of a "national apprehensive breakdown." The election of 1968 used to be instantly stuck up in a swirl of strong forces, and the 9 males who sought the nation's optimum place of work that yr tried to journey them to victory-or in simple terms live to tell the tale them. at the Democratic part, Eugene McCarthy energized the anti-war circulate; George Wallace spoke to the working-class white backlash; Robert Kennedy took at the mantle of his slain brother. Entangled in Vietnam, Johnson, stunningly, opted to not run back, scrambling the percentages. at the Republican aspect, 1968 observed the vindication of Richard Nixon, who outhustled Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan and George Romney, through navigating among the conservative and reasonable wings of the Republican celebration. The assassinations of first Martin Luther King, Jr., after which Kennedy appeared to push the rustic to the edge of chaos, a chaos mirrored within the Democratic conference in Chicago, a televised horror exhibit. vp Hubert Humphrey emerged because the nominee, and, ultimately freeing himself from Johnson's grip, approximately overcame the lead lengthy loved by means of Nixon who, by way of exploiting department and channeling the nationwide craving for order, will be the final guy status. In American Maelstrom, Michael A. Cohen captures the complete drama of this watershed election, setting up 1968 because the hinge among the decline of political liberalism, the ascendancy of conservative populism, and the increase of anti-government attitudes that proceed to dominate the nation's political discourse. during this sweeping and immersive ebook, equivalent elements compelling research and exciting narrative, Cohen takes us to the very resource of our glossy politics of division." -- Publisher's description Read more...
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Extra info for American Maelstrom : the 1968 election and the politics of division
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. White support for government activism was largely predicated on the notion that government would provide protections for them. ” In the fall of 1966 this figure had fallen to 39 percent. By the summer of 1967, it dropped to 24 percent.
S. ” That those at the poor end of the spectrum were overwhelmingly black—and those in the middle overwhelmingly white—further heightened tension and suspicion. 14 The white backlash of the late 1960s represented one of the most powerful and enduring political forces of the era. It would in time, transform not only American politics, but also how the nation was governed. Yet the backlash, 22 ■ BEFORE characterized by an incoherent mass of resentments, frustrations, and misperceptions, defies easy description.
24 Johnson’s reaction to these attitudes did not help matters. ” This approach effectively ignored the growing sense among white working-class voters that those pushing the hardest for racial integration cared little about the impact of these policies on their lives. “Everyone, deep down, wants something a little better for his children,” Johnson said in justifying his ambitions. 25 The fight for control of predominately white urban neighborhoods increasingly became a zero-sum game. Across American cities a vicious cycle would be repeated—a black family would move in and demonstrations would ensue; occasionally even violence would break out.