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Quest for Identity
America since 1945


  • Date Published: May 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521549974

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • Quest for Identity is a survey of the American experience from the close of World War II, through the Cold War and 9/11, to the present. It helps students understand postwar American history through a seamless narrative punctuated with accessible analyses. Randall Woods addresses and explains the major themes that punctuate the period: the Cold War, the Civil Rights and Women's Rights movements, and other great changes that led to major realignments of American life. While political history is emphasized, Woods also discusses in equal measure cultural matters and socio-economic problems. Dramatic new patterns of immigration and migration characterized the period as much as the counterculture, the growth of television and the Internet, the interstate highway system, rock and roll, and the exploration of space. The pageantry, drama, irony, poignancy and humor of the American journey since World War II are all here.

    • Seamless narrative punctuated with analysis that are accessible to student of American history
    • Readable and comprehensive, to be used as a text for students and reference for teachers
    • Explains the major themes from the close of World War II, through the Cold War and 9/11, to the present
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Woods provides a good read, a comprehensive overview and a useful resource without losing his political and cultural acuity.' International Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521549974
    • length: 608 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 31 mm
    • weight: 0.83kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 13 maps 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The republic in transition: demobilization and reconversion
    2. The origins of the Cold War
    3. Staying the course: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the politics of moderation
    4. Containing communism and managing the military-industrial complex: the Eisenhower Administration and the Cold War
    5. Capitalism and conformity: American society, 1945–60
    6. Liberalism reborn: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and the politics of activism
    7. The wages of globalism: foreign affairs during the Kennedy-Johnson era
    8. The dividing of America: Vietnam, Black Power, the counterculture, and the election of 1968
    9. Realpolitik or Imperialism? Nixon, Kissinger, and American foreign policy
    10. The limits of expediency: Richard M. Nixon and the American Presidency
    11. From confidence to anxiety: American Society, 1960–80
    12. Governing in a malaise: the presidencies of Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter
    13. The culture of narcissism: the Reagan era
    14. In search of balance: America into the twenty-first century.

  • Author

    Randall Bennett Woods, University of Arkansas
    Randall Bennett Woods is John A. Cooper Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. He has written widely on twentieth-century American history, including Dawning of the Cold War (1991), Changing of the Guard (1990), and Fulbright: A Biography (1995), which won both the Ferrell and Ledbetter Prizes. He was also editor of Vietnam and the American Political Tradition: The Politics of Dissent (Cambridge, 2003).

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