American Dreams: The United States Since 1945

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9780143119555: American Dreams: The United States Since 1945
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The story of our nation from the A-bomb to the iPhone-from bestselling historian H.W. Brands

With keen insight and an impeccable sense of the spirit of the times, H. W. Brands, one of today's preeminent historians, captures the American experience through the last six decades. As he chronicles politics, pop culture, and everything in between, Brands traces the changes we have gone through as a nation, recounting the great themes and events that have driven America- from the Yalta conference to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Apollo 11 to 9/11, My Lai to "shock and awe." In his adroit hands, movements and trends unfold through a character- driven narrative that shines a brilliant light on America's watershed moments and reveals a still unfolding legacy of dreams.

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About the Author:

H.W. Brands is a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalists Traitor to His Class and The First American, among others. He lives in Texas.

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Brands’ reputation as a prolific author of American history should attract attention to his survey of post-WWII America. With so much material to cover in one volume, Brands must condense events; still, he succeeds in linking a chronicle with important themes to deliver a comprehensible presentation of our country’s major political and cultural changes since 1945. The national confidence and social unity of that year, compared with present cultural antagonisms and political polarity, bracket Brands’ presentation of cold war foreign policy; the civil rights movement; LBJ’s escalation in Vietnam and expansion of the welfare state; the collapse of liberalism and rise of conservatism; and American history’s directions since 1989. In all this, the baby boomers loom influential in Brands’ historical appreciation, which weaves in their upbringing in unprecedented prosperity; their questioning of parental attitudes; and their coming to power in the Bill Clinton years. Because his accounts of such social trends are interwoven with those about presidencies up to Barack Obama, Brands delivers a history well modulated for readers seeking an introduction to American history of their living memory. --Gilbert Taylor

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