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The eighties - John Ehrman

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The eighties - America in the age of Reagan
John Ehrman
Yale University Press
UK Publication Date

During the Reagan years, Americans witnessed an extraordinary array of changes, from major technological advances to sweeping revisions of the tax code to the deregulation of major industries and the advent of the culture wars. America emerged from the decade completely transformed: political and social arrangements derived from post?World War II liberalism had given way to the highly competitive, fast-changing, technology-driven society we know today.
In The Eighties, John Ehrman tracks this transformation in the context of Ronald Reagan's policies and convictions and examines the broader trends that enabled Reagan to achieve so much of his agenda. At a time when most Americans remained fairly centrist in their political commitments, Reagan was able to shift policy toward the right by building support for a few key policies. His gradualist approach met with little opposition from Democrats, who failed to mount a coherent response. Based on a broad range of primary source material, The Eighties offers an accessible and balanced account of a watershed decade in American history.

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John Ehrman is a foreign affairs analyst for the federal government. He was formerly a lecturer in history at George Washington University and writes on modern American conservative politics. His previous book, The Rise of Neoconservatism, was published by Yale University Press.

“Ehrman's Eighties is a strikingly successful book and a pleasure to read—it's scrupulously fair-minded, equally nuanced and perceptive in its discussion of cultural and political matters—and (above all) it provides a lucid, convincing, enormously valuable picture of the Reagan administration. Many (probably most) thoughtful, educated Americans still haven't got a clue who Reagan was, what he did, and why he became and remains a revered figure in this country. They need to read Ehrman, the sooner the better.”—David Gelernter, Yale University

“In the 1980s, America moved Right, Left, and forward at the same time. Ehrman examines the currents and crosscurrents of this remarkable era with clarity and judiciousness. A commendable book.”—George H. Nash, author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945

“John Ehrman combines meticulous research, intellectual honesty, originality, and common sense to produce an interpretation of the Reagan era that is illuminating, refreshing, and highly readable.”--Glen Jeansonne, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Keyword Index
Conservatism - United States - History - 20th century.|Social change - United States - History - 20th century.|United States - Politics and government - 1981-1989.|United States - Social conditions - 1980-|United States - Economic conditions - 1981-2001.
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