In a book that William E. Leuchtenburg, writing in the Atlantic, called “a work of considerable power,” Allen Matusow documents the rise and fall of 1960s liberalism. He offers deft treatments of the major topics?anticommunism, civil rights, Great Society programs, the counterculture?making the most, throughout, of his subject’s tremendous narrative potential. Matusow’s preface to the new edition explains the sometimes critical tone of his study. The Unraveling of America, he says, “was intended as a cautionary tale for liberals in the hope that when their hour struck again, they might perhaps be fortified against past error. Now that they have another chance, a look back at the 1960s might serve them well.”
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Allen J. Matusow is the W. G. Twyman Professor of History at Rice University. He is the author of Nixon's Economy: Boom, Busts, Dollars, and Votes and Farm Policies and Politics in the Truman Years.Review:
With The Unraveling of America, Allen Matusow has produced what all historians?indeed, all authors?hope for and almost always fail to achieve: an enduring classic that can be read with equal profit a generation after its initial publication; a measured, sympathetic, and scholarly work in all the best senses of those words.(Eric Alterman author of Why We're Liberals)
A work of considerable power, energetically expounded and engagingly written. Matusow is capable of capturing a man in one sentence and of sustaining a narrative over many pages. . . . And in tracing out the many threads that went into making the counterculture, he composes a chapter that is a tour de force.(William E. Leuchtenburg Atlantic)
Matusow offers a superb look at the people who propelled the liberal era. . . . The narration is enormously readable.(Susan Lee Business Week)
Deeply researched and clearly written, this work should figure as a standard study of a watershed movement in American public life for some time to come.(Library Journal)
The best history of the decade we have to date.(Jonathan Yardley Washington Post Book World)
This may well be the definitive analysis of the political, economic, and social factors that came together with such explosive force in the 1960s.(Bill Youngblood Forth Worth Star-Telegram)
A thorough, basic general history of the 1960s that includes clear descriptions of all political and social matters. . . . Allen Matusow has accomplished the impossible?he has made sense out of the often senseless '60s.(Lee Milazzo Dallas Morning News)
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