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America Transformed
Sixty Years of Revolutionary Change, 1941–2001


  • Date Published: May 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521722117

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • America has seen a multitude of transformations since its founding. This 2006 book examines the period 1941–2001 during which time the character of American life changed rapidly, culminating in the shattering of the Liberal Democratic coalition. Revolutions in the areas of affluence, foreign policy, the military, business systems, racial relations, gender roles, sexual behavior and attitudes, and disregard for privacy are discussed. Rather than cite historical facts as they occurred, America Transformed analyzes them and offers a fresh and often controversial perspective. Abrams' draws on a wealth of published sources to highlight his original arguments on McCarthyism, the Cold War, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and Johnson, to name a few topics. The synthesis of information and the depth of insight are simply unparalleled in any other book of American social history from 1941–2001.

    • Likely to be controversial among left-liberals and right-conservatives in some of its conclusions
    • Discusses the rise and fall of America's international leadership and prestige as well as Americans' self-image
    • Arranged topically rather than chronologically
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This spirited book synthesizes the scholarly wisdom of a lifetime. The provocative result nicely captures the major changes in American life over the course of the last sixty years.' Edward D. Berkowitz, George Washington University

    'Though covering a well-known era of American history, Abrams' use of sources and economic analyses is both innovative and imaginative. Rather than accepting change over time, he originally explains the role of elites in accounting for historical changes in the course of his Eight Revolutions. Again and again, this analysis shows how popular perceptions need to be explained by reality. Look, too, at his insightful dismantling of liberal society over those tumultuous years. Additionally, Abrams boldly looks into the morality of historical events, though his use of morals is not traditional: rather it is to test policies and actions against the values in the making of the American past. In sum, this is historical analysis at its best.' Carl N. Degler, Stanford University, Emeritus

    'America Transformed is a cogent and provocative synthesis of our nation's history since World War II. It provides a crisp account of dramatic changes that have occurred in diverse dimensions of American life, while also conveying deep, and disturbing, reservations about the recent trajectory of American policy, both domestic and international.' Alex Keyssar, Harvard University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521722117
    • length: 366 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Retrospect:
    1. 'The American Century'
    2. Before the revolutions
    3. The challenge of power
    4. The inflation of moral possibilities
    5. The generational chasm
    Part II. Eight Revolutions:
    6. Affluence
    7. From isolation to hegemonic power
    8. The rise of the military
    9. The reorganization of the business system
    10. The revolution in racial relations
    11. The revolution in gender roles
    12. Revolution in sexual behavior and attitudes
    13. The demise of privacy
    Part III. Counterrevolution:
    14. Collapse of the Liberal Democratic coalition
    15. Liberalism: ascension and declension
    16. The Liberal Democratic coalition
    17. The failure syndrome
    18. Rise of the New Left and birth of 'neoconservatism'
    19. Right-wing ascendancy
    20. The Reagan revolution
    21. Summary
    Part IV. 'The New American Century'.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • U.S. Since 1945 and Vietnam and the Cold War
    • United States Since 1945
  • Author

    Richard M. Abrams, University of California, Berkeley
    Richard M. Abrams is a professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has been teaching since 1961. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1962. He was a Fulbright Professor at the University of London (1968–9) and Moscow State University (1989). Professor Abrams is the author of Conservatism in a Progressive Era: The Burdens of Progress and editor or co-editor of The Shaping of 20th Century America and The Issues of Populist and Progressive Eras.

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