Download American Maelstrom : the 1968 election and the politics of by Michael A. Cohen PDF

By Michael A. Cohen

ISBN-10: 019977756X

ISBN-13: 9780199777563

"In his presidential inaugural deal with of January 1965, Lyndon Johnson provided an uplifting imaginative and prescient for the United States, one who might finish poverty and racial injustice. Elected in a landslide over the conservative Republican Barry Goldwater and reinforced through the so-called liberal consensus, fiscal prosperity, and a powerful wave of nostalgia for his martyred predecessor, John Kennedy, Johnson introduced the main ambitious Read more...

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an exhilarating account of the 1968 presidential election and its effect at the subsequent 4 many years of yankee politics Read more...

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In 1965, according to public opinion polls, support for his legislative program was sky high—82 percent of voters approved Johnson’s Medicare polices; 90 percent supported aid for higher 18 ■ BEFORE education; 95 percent backed the voting rights bill; and 69 percent gave him high marks on his handling of the economy. Even antipoverty legislation was endorsed by nearly three-quarters of Americans. And why not? Except for the ideologically orthodox who opposed expanded government on principle, few Americans had reason to be against better schools, a helping hand for the poor, and improved access to medical care.

Crime, the street being unsafe, strikes, the trouble with the colored, all this dope-taking, people leaving the churches. It is sort of a breakdown of our standards, the American way of life,” said one woman. There was seemingly no escape—even in Millersburg—from these worrying national trends. ”16 The anger and apprehension in Millersburg could be felt across America. Among black Americans resentment about promises unfulfilled was strong. “ A L o t t a P e o p l e . . A i n ’ t G o n n a P u t U p w i t h I t M u c h L o n g e r ” ■ 2 3 The stifling constraints of 1950s and early 1960s American culture bred rebellion, which drove the beats, then the hippies, and later the larger counterculture.

Into any home, any bar, “ A L o t t a P e o p l e . . A i n ’ t G o n n a P u t U p w i t h I t M u c h L o n g e r ” ■ 2 7 any barber shop and you will find people are not talking about Vietnam or rising prices or prosperity,” noted Illinois congressman Roman Pucinski. ”26 For decades, white voters had relied on local political leaders—and often Democratic Party institutions—to look out for their interests and, above all, to keep the races apart. Many whites would cast a split ballot, for local, conservative quasi-segregationists like Sam Yorty in Los Angeles, Richard Daley in Chicago, or Albert Cobo in Detroit and pro–civil rights senators and congressman at the national level.

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