Great Society

A New History
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Author(s): Amity Shlaes
Original Publish Date: Nov 19, 2019
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (17.75 hours)
Product Number: Z100129975
Released: Nov 19, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780062848130
Narrator/s: Terence Aselford
Publisher: HarperAudio
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Description

The New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man and Coolidge offers a stunning revision of our last great period of idealism, the 1960s, with burning relevance for our contemporary challenges. "Great Society is accurate history that reads like a novel, covering the high hopes and catastrophic missteps of our well-meaning leaders." A??Alan Greenspan Today, a battle rages in our country. Many Americans are attracted to socialism and economic redistribution while opponents of those ideas argue for purer capitalism. In the 1960s, Americans sought the same goals many seek now: an end to poverty, higher standards of living for the middle class, a better environment and more access to health care and education. Then, too, we debated socialism and capitalism, public sector reform versus private sector advancement. Time and again, whether under John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, or Richard Nixon, the country chose the public sector. Yet the targets of our idealism proved elusive. WhatA??s more, JohnsonA??s and NixonA??s programs shackled millions of families in permanent government dependence. Ironically, Shlaes argues, the costs of entitlement commitments made a half century ago preclude the very reforms that Americans will need in coming decades. In Great Society, Shlaes offers a powerful companion to her legendary history of the 1930s, The Forgotten Man, and shows that in fact there was scant difference between two presidents we consider opposites: Johnson and Nixon. Just as technocratic military planning by A??the Best and the BrightestA? made failure in Vietnam inevitable, so planning by a team of the domestic best and brightest guaranteed fiasco at home. At once history and biography, Great Society sketches moving portraits of the characters in this transformative period, from U.S. Presidents to the visionary UAW leader Walter Reuther, the founders of Intel, and Federal Reserve chairmen William McChesney Martin and Arthur Burns. Great Society casts new light on other figures too, from Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, to the socialist Michael Harrington and the protest movement leader Tom Hayden. Drawing on her classic economic expertise and deep historical knowledge, Shlaes upends the traditional narrative of the era, providing a damning indictment of the consequences of thoughtless idealism with striking relevance for today. Great Society captures a dramatic contest with lessons both dark and bright for our own time. Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

All formats/editions

CD
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Author(s): Amity Shlaes
Narrator(s): Terence Aselford
Product Number DD40495
Released: Nov 06, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
Publisher: Harper Audio
ISBN: #9780062850850
eBook
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Author(s): Amity Shlaes
Product Number EB00720556
Released: Nov 19, 2019
Business Term: 26 Circ
Publisher: Harper
ISBN: #9780062199102

Professional reviews

"Terence Aselford brings an announcer's voice to this work as he peppers listeners with the statistics and anecdotes in its opening summary. Shlaes takes a skeptical view of the Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society," which expanded government in the 1960s. She cites problems such as the urban housing projects that turned to space-age materials to curb vandalism as factory jobs left cities and poverty increased, provoking criticism from many, including author James Baldwin. As she does, she traces the evolution of Ronald Reagan from GE spokesman to political figure. She uses tallies of guns, butter, and the Dow to track economic effects. Aselford can bog down when talking about dry topics such as legal challenges or Federal Reserve maneuvers, but he generally keeps this detailed history of a decade of change interesting. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"

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