Judul/Title: Years of Discord: American Politics and Society, 1961-1974
Penulis/Author: John Morton Blum
Penerbit/Publisher: W.W Norton & Company
Dimensi/Dimension: 16 x 24 x 3.5cm
Call No.: 306.2/Blu/y/C.1
For fifteen tense and troubled years, between the election of John F. Kennedy in1960 and the resignation of Richard Nixon in1974, the United States struggled to directs its domestic life and its role in a rapidly changing world.
At the end of the 1950s Americans felt a vague dissatisfaction. Only fifteen years earlier, victorious in a great and "good war", the United States bestrode the world, unchallenged, a colossus of political, military, and economic power. But by 1960 that dominance was eroding, as American leadership in science and technology faced a Soviet challenge in space and in atomic weaponery. A recovering Europe and a surging Japan posed complicated economic competition, and as the sixties rolled forward, the country was engulfed in a tide of criticism and dissent, much of it arising from a persistent racism and deepening comitment to a dubious conflict in Vietnam.
Kennedy's inauguration in 1961 fueled the country's soaring hopes for a New Frontier whose promises were reminiscent of older liberal expectation for an active federal government led by an activist president.
When Kennedy fell, Lyndon Johnson picked up the torch and spurred the country on to attack poverty and discrimination, as well as to pursue even more widely, the Vietnam War. It was an impossible agenda, doomed to frustation by domestic resistance and military stalemate. The result was an outburst of anger and violence in cities and on college campuses, and an eruption of radicalism during the late sixties.
Such tension and dissapointment could not last, but ultimately drove Lyndon Johnson from power and led to the election of Richard Nixon. His controversial presidency, with its shady undertakings and misuse of power, led in turn to further dissent and a near impeachment.
These fifteen years are as rich as any in American history, rich in incident --the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil rights struggle, the anti-war crusade, the opening of China, Watergate, Kennedy's death, Johnson's retirement, the fall of Nixon: rich of personality -- Robert Kennedy, Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King, Jr., Earl Warren, Bob Dylan, Henry Kissinger, the Beatles, Nikita Khruschev, George Wallace, Hurbert Humphrey.
Finally, this is a story of power--its attainment and use at home and abroad. If we conclude that the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon presidencies marked a decline in national power and a confusion of aim at home, we may also conclude that men and women during these years of discord strove to realize the best hopes and ideals that this country has to offer.
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