1st Edition

A Progressive History of American Democracy Since 1945 American Dreams, Hard Realities

By Chris J. Magoc Copyright 2022
    362 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    362 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A Progressive History of American Democracy Since 1945: American Dreams, Hard Realities offers a social, political, and cultural history of the United States since World War II.

    Unpacking a period of profound transformation unprecedented in the national experience, this book takes a synthetic approach to the history of the 1940s to the present day. It examines how Americans descended from a mid-century apogee of boundless expectations to the unsettling premise that our contemporary historical moment is fraught with a sense of crisis and national failure. The book’s narrative explores the question of decline and more importantly, how the history of this transformation can point the way toward a recovery of shared national values. Chris J. Magoc also gives extensive treatments to the following:

    • Grassroots movements that have expanded the meaning of American democracy, from the 1950s human rights struggle in the South to contemporary movements to confront systemic racism and the existential crisis of climate change.
    • The resilience of American democracy in the face of antidemocratic forces.
    • The impacts of a decades-long economic transformation.
    • The consequences of America’s expanding global military footprint and national security state.
    • Fracturing of a nation once held together by a post-war liberal consensus and broadly shared societal goals to an America facing an attack from within on empirical truth and democracy itself.

    This book will be of interest to students of modern U.S. history, social history, and American Studies, and general readers interested in recent U.S. history.

    1. A "People’s War" and the Dawn an "American Century"  2. Containing Communism, Advancing "the American System"  3. Affluence and Angst: The Politics and Culture of Cold War America  4. Through the Looking Glass: Discontent and Rebellion in the Fifties  5. Let Us Begin: The Promise of the Early 1960s  6. Mississippi to Saigon: The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson and the Turning of the Sixties  7. "People of This Generation:" The New Left and the Counter-culture  8. 1968: The Rupture  9. Richard Nixon and the Resilience of American Democracy  10. Confronting Limits, Turning Right  11. The Reagan Revolution  12. The End of Nothing: History Lurches On   13. America Under Attack


    Chris J. Magoc is Professor of History at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

     "A gifted storyteller, Magoc fills his narrative with emblematic details."
    - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Listen to Chris Magoc discuss the book with The American Tapestry Project on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0ZsdoEHhVbqexLyCiO7pM0?si=2_5BG8JnQyyzEAdi1x10jw&nd=1