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Cover image for All in the family : the realignment of American democracy since the 1960s
All in the family : the realignment of American democracy since the 1960s
Self, Robert O., 1968-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hill and Wang, 2012.
Physical Description:
viii, 518 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
This is a man's world, 1964-1973 -- Are you man enough? Sixties breadwinner liberalism -- Last man to die: Vietnam and the citizen soldier -- Homosexual tendencies: gay men and sexual citizenship -- The subjection of women, 1964-1976 -- The working mother has no wife: the dilemmas of market and motherhood -- Bodies on trial: the politics of reproduction -- American sappho: the lesbian political imagination -- The permissive society, 1968-1980 -- Wild before the fire: the sexual politics of an erotic revolution -- No steelworkers and no plumbers: liberalism in trouble -- A strange but righteous power: the breadwinner conservatism of forgotten Americans -- A process of coming out: from liberation to gay politics -- Family values, 1973-2011 -- The price of liberty: antifeminism and the crisis of the family -- Go ye into all the world: god, family, and country in the fourth great awakening -- Ancient roots: the Reagan Revolution's gender and sexual politics -- Epilogue: neoliberalism and the making of the culture war.


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Book 0326899 HN90 .M6 S437 2012 Central Campus Library

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In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and War on Poverty promised an array of federal programs to assist working-class families. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan declared the GOP the party of "family values" and promised to keep government out of Americans' lives. Again and again, historians have sought to explain the nation's profound political realignment from the 1960s to the 2000s, five decades that witnessed the fracturing of liberalism and the rise of the conservative right. The award-winning historian Robert O. Self is the first to argue that the separate threads of that realignment--from civil rights to women's rights, from the antiwar movement to Nixon's "silent majority," from the abortion wars to gay marriage, from the welfare state to neoliberal economic policies--all ran through the politicized American family.

Based on an astonishing range of sources, All in the Family rethinks an entire era. Self opens his narrative with the Great Society and its assumption of a white, patriotic, heterosexual man at the head of each family. Soon enough, civil rights activists, feminists, and gay rights activists, animated by broader visions of citizenship, began to fight for equal rights, protections, and opportunities. Led by Pauli Murray, Gloria Steinem, Harvey Milk, and Shirley Chisholm, among many others, they achieved lasting successes, including Roe v. Wade , antidiscrimination protections in the workplace, and a more inclusive idea of the American family.

Yet the establishment of new rights and the visibility of alternative families provoked, beginning in the 1970s, a furious conservative backlash. Politicians and activists on the right, most notably George Wallace, Phyllis Schlafly, Anita Bryant, and Jerry Falwell, built a political movement based on the perceived moral threat to the traditional family. Self writes that "family values" conservatives in fact "paved the way" for fiscal conservatives, who shared a belief in liberalism's invasiveness but lacked a populist message. Reagan's presidency united the two constituencies, which remain, even in these tumultuous times, the base of the Republican Party. All in the Family , an erudite, passionate, and persuasive explanation of our current political situation and how we arrived in it, will allow us to think anew about the last fifty years of American politics.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 3
Part 1 This is a Nan's World, 1964-1973
1 Are You Man Enough? Sixties Breadwinner Liberalismp. 17
2 Last Man to Die: Vietnam and the Citizen Soldierp. 47
3 Homosexual Tendencies: Gay Men and Sexual Citizenshipp. 75
Part 2 The Subjection of Women, 1964-1976
4 The Working Mother Has No Wife: The Dilemmas of Market and Motherhoodp. 103
5 Bodies on Trial: The Politics of Reproductionp. 134
6 American Sappho: The Lesbian Political Imaginationp. 161
Part 3 The Permissive Society, 1960-1980
7 Wild Before the Fire: The Sexual Politics of an Erotic Revolutionp. 189
8 A Process of Coming Out: From Liberation to Gay Politicsp. 219
9 No Steelworkers and No Plumbers: Liberalism in Troublep. 248
10 A Strange but Righteous Power: The Breadwinner Conservatism of Forgotten Americansp. 276
Part 4 Family Values, 1973-2011
11 The Price of Liberty: Antifeminism and the Crisis of the Familyp. 309
12 Go Ye into All the World: God, Family, and Country in the Fourth Great Awakeningp. 339
13 Ancient Roots: The Reagan Revolution's Gender and Sexual Politicsp. 367
Epilogue: Neoliberalism and the Making of the Culture Warp. 399
Abbreviations Used in the Notesp. 427
Notesp. 435
Acknowledgmentsp. 497
Indexp. 499
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