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The Cycles of American History Paperback – June 16, 1999
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Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The U.S. was founded by pragmatic men who saw republican democracy as an experiment that might work, if the structure was adequate and leadership was applied. America as an ideal state, governed by providence, was a later development, often misused by politicians.
There are 15-20 year cycles between innovation and conservatism, democracy and capitalism, public and private interests. In a democracy, the public has infinite wants and fluctuates between two sets of stories which might best deliver.
Foreign policy is most effective when it is pragmatic, reflecting the real interests of the nation. Public morality is different than private morality. The state represents the varied interests of its citizens and seeks preservation first.Read more ›
Schlesinger dissects patterns of political shift right to center or center left throughout American History that follows a generational pattern. Schelesinger relates the shifts as more of the original argument between Federalists and State's Righters - which is the only "pattern" that seems to have gone off on a tangent in recent years, as the right has become more internationalist/interventionist. It remains to be seen whether the Democrats take us into isolationism or just a more moderate internationalism than that of the right. (If the Democrats take us to isolationism, then that would complete a reshuffling of party stands on a major issue, one that would present historical problems that Schlesinger did not foresee).
But for the most part, this detailed, thoroughly researched study is not only a very intereting piece of historical analysis, but entertaining as well simply because we have the luxury to look back 30 years now and see how amazing close Schlesinger was!
Well worth your time!