Depression to Cold War: A History of America from Herbert Hoover to Ronald Reagan

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - 300 pages

Organized around the office of the president, this study focuses on American behavior at home and abroad from the Great Depression to the onset of the end of the Cold War, two key points during which America sought a re-definition of its proper relationship to the world. Domestically, American society continued the process of industrialization and urbanization that had begun in the 19th century. Urban growth accompanied industrialism, and more and more Americans lived in cities. Because of industrial growth and the consequent interest in foreign markets, the United States became a major world power. American actions as a nation, whether as positive attempts to mold events abroad or as negative efforts to enjoy material abundance in relative political isolation, could not help but affect the course of world history.

Under President Hoover, the federal government was still a comparatively small enterprise; challenges of the next six decades would transform it almost beyond belief, touching in one way or another almost every facet of American life. Before the New Deal, few Americans expected the government to do anything for them. By the end of the Second World War and in the aftermath of the Great Depression, however, Americans had turned to Washington for help. Even the popular Reagan presidency of the 1980s, the most conservative since Hoover, would fail to undo the basic New Deal commitment to assist struggling Americans. There would be no turning back the clock, at home or abroad.

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Contents

The Turn of the American Century
1
A New Deal for the American People
21
The Slow Death of Versailles
45
Call to Arms
69
America at War
89
The Transition
109
Navigating the Middle Road
137
The Promise of Greatness
163
The Great Society
183
White House under Siege
205
A Time for Healing
225
The Conservative Revolution
245
Selected Bibliography
275
Index
295
Copyright

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Page 124 - I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.
Page 22 - This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Page 167 - Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Page 103 - That they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, and open to membership by all such states, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Page 39 - We have, therefore, reached the point as a Nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself.
Page 125 - It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace.
Page 75 - Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned ; Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them...
Page 240 - An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

About the author (2002)

JOSEPH M. SIRACUSA is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Among his books are A History of United States Foreign Policy, America's Australia: Australia's America, and Into the Dark House: American Diplomacy and the Idealogical Origins of the Cold War.

DAVID G. COLEMAN is Assistant Professor at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He is co-editor of The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy (forthcoming).

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