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The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s Hardcover – July 10, 2008
"Wake Up America" by Eric Bolling
Wake Up America is a much-needed call to arms for America’s citizens to preserve and protect our country's present and future. Learn more
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Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
Exhilarating creative, compelling, and convincing. [W]e would do well to heed Weisbrot and Mackenzies lively and engaging reconstruction of the old political playing field where, for one brief, shining moment, other possibilities seemed imminent.
[S]hould be required reading for Democracts who are thinking of what they can achieve if they win the white House and large Congressional majorities this November.
The New York Observer
Mackenzie and Weisbrot provide insightful and well-argued analysis of the 1960s social, economic, and political dynamics that opened both the public and the government to great and necessary social legislation.
The Liberal Hour is the most important contribution to our understanding of ourselves and our country in many years because Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot allow us to view the 1960s whole and in all of its complexity. This gracefully written and wisely argued account focuses not simply on what we have come to see as The Sixtiesthe counter-culture, the protest movements, the music, and the angerbut also and primarily on the creative work by politicians in Washington who put into law a remarkable array of social, economic and environmental reforms that are still with us. This is a book about our past that should affect our future.
E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Souled Out and Why Americans Hate Politics
Apart from a good, sturdy narrative history, there are useful lessons here for political activists and progressives.
Informed political history Strongly recommended.
Americans have been trying to understand the 1960s ever since they happened possibly even earlier. To this day, the decade serves as a rallying cry to those who blindly suppress its memory, or nearly as blindly, idealize it beyond recognition. With command and eloquence, The Liberal Hour explains what really happened, probing the inner dynamics of the immense changes wrought by the Kennedy and Johnson presidencies, and the aftershocks we live with to this day.
Ted Widmer, author of Ark of the Liberties: America and the World --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Robert Weisbrot is the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at Colby College. He is the author of numerous books, including Freedom Bound: A History of the Civil Rights Movement and Maximum Danger: Kennedy, the Missiles, and the Crisis of American Confidence. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Forty plus years later it is possible (and helpful) to think of the 1960s as genuine "history." One can sort out what events and policies had impacts, judge them, and frame interpretations. This book does that. If you were born prior to about 1955 it will likely refresh your memory.
The authors believe that the changes of the 1960s could not have occurred without the activists, but that it was the struggles within institutions (Congress, the Supreme Court, etc.) that ultimately mattered. "Government transformed American life in the 1960s, and politicians led the change," they write. "What distinguishes the 1960s is the mysterious and momentous convergence of a public ready for change and a government poised to act." They make a strong case for how impressive the legislative achievements were in the early Johnson presidency, how the constellations had aligned to make much possible then that was not possible before and otherwise would not have been so until much later, if at all.
If you are looking for lessons helpful in our present predicament you need not reach all the way back to the Depression or the Lincoln presidency; you can find some here. Mackenzie and Weisbrot conclude that the tide against the liberal wave had begun to turn by 1966. The course of the Vietnam War and the cost of the Great Society programs led to growing doubts about the ability of the federal government to fulfill its promises. "[B]y the end of the 1960s the liberal hour was over," they say. Windows of opportunity for big political transformations - toward either the left or the right - are seldom open long.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's a good, if worshipful, LBJ bio buried inside these pages. But this book is so disorderly that it's hardly worth the time. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J. Rodeck
I highly recommend this book, in particular to conservatives who oppose positive government intervention. Read morePublished on October 21, 2012 by Rhonda
The Liberal Hour offers another view of a presidency that has been long-remembered for its unpopular foriegn policies, as one that provided a strong domestic agenda and a mastery... Read morePublished on June 18, 2012 by dpete
The book is OK, but isn't necessarially engaging. In other words, the book is a sober view at an era which was anything but. Read morePublished on May 13, 2010 by Zulu Warrior
The authors have done a creditable job in presenting the political initiatives effected by the liberal majority in Congress, the President (Johnson) and the Warren Court in the... Read morePublished on July 27, 2009 by David M. Dougherty
This is not the best-written history of the period -- the authors aren't particularly prose stylists and they have a bad habit of getting caught up in obscure digressions -- but it... Read morePublished on June 5, 2009 by Aaron Swartz