Cover image for The Liberal Consensus Reconsidered American Politics and Society in the Postwar Era
The Liberal Consensus Reconsidered American Politics and Society in the Postwar Era
Morgan, Iwan W., editor.
Publication Information:
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, 2017. (Baltimore, Md. : Project MUSE, 2015)
Physical Description:
1 online resource (pages cm)
Book collections on Project MUSE.
Introduction: reconsidering the liberal consensus / Robert Mason and Iwan Morgan -- Revisiting the liberal consensus / Godfrey Hodgson -- Historians and the postwar liberal consensus / Michael Heale -- The reach and limits of the liberal consensus / Gary Gerstle -- The 1930s roots of the postwar "consensus" / Wendy L. Wall -- The Keynesian consensus and its limits / Iwan Morgan -- Social welfare in the United States, 1945-1960 / David Stebenne -- Red-hunting and internal security: conflict in the age of consensus / Alex Goodall -- Containment: a consensual or contested foreign policy? / Andrew Preston -- Sunbelt patriarchs: Lyndon B. Johnson, Barry Goldwater, and the New Deal dissensus / Elizabeth Tandy Shermer -- "Down the middle of the road": Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party, and the politics of consensus and conflict, 1949-1961 / Robert Mason -- "We have run out of poor people": the Democratic Party's crisis of identity in the 1950s / Jonathan Bell -- Billy Graham's neo-evangelical triumph and the limits of the liberal consensus / Uta A. Balbier -- Gender in an era of liberal consensus / Helen Laville -- Memories of the movement: civil rights, the liberal consensus, and the March on Washington twenty years later / George Lewis.
This work interrogates the idea that a "liberal consensus" uniformly shaped the United States after World War II. The volume's findings indicate that political, cultural, and ideological conflict was never extinguished and that whatever liberal consensus existed was elitist and limited. These limitations included the seeds of its own destruction in the late 1960s and beyond.
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When first published in 1976, Godfrey Hodgson's America in Our Time won immediate recognition as a major interpretive study of the postwar era. Although the term liberal consensus , or its approximation, had received some previous expression, Hodgson was responsible for its entry into the lexicon of American history. Yet what he considered a substantive phenomenon would inevitably become a controversial paradigm as a massive outpouring of literature cited evidence of a significant conservative presence at the grassroots level from the 1930s to the 1960s.Here, leading scholars--including Hodgson himself--confront the longstanding theory that a liberal consensus shaped the United States after World War II. The essays draw on fresh research to examine how the consensus related to key policy areas, how it was viewed by different factions and groups, what its limitations were, and why it fell apart in the late 1960s. They find that although elite politicians from both parties did share certain principles that gave direction to postwar America, the nation still experienced major political, cultural, and ideological conflictIdentifying the forces at work that gave rise to a newly confident conservatism promoted by corporate leaders, Sunbelt boosters, and religious activists, the contributors offer new insights into the era and diverging opinions on one of the most influential interpretations of mid-twentieth-century U.S. history.