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Few politicians in recent American history are as well-known as Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president. An iconic leader, Reagan shifted the direction of American politics toward a newly vigorous conservatism. Though he began his career as a New Deal liberal, by the end of the 1950s, Reagan had embraced conservative views. His presidency saw the longest peacetime prosperity in American history, as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, but also skyrocketing deficits and the Iran-Contra scandal. In the twenty-first century, Reagan’s legacy is both pervasive and contested, with supporters and detractors often divided along partisan lines. Yet Reagan’s own actions did not always fit into partisan boxes. In a clear-eyed and insightful narrative, James H. Broussard cuts through the mythology of both sides to produce a nuanced portrait of Reagan in his historical context. Supported by primary sources and a robust companion website, this concise biography is an ideal intoduction to this fascinating president and the issues that shaped America in the late 20th century. Routledge Historical Americans is a series of short, vibrant biographies that illuminate the lives of Americans who have had an impact on the world. Each book includes a short overview of the person’s life and puts that person into historical context through essential primary documents, written both by the subjects and about them. A series website supports the books, containing extra images and documents, links to further research, and where possible, multi-media sources on the subjects. Perfect for including in any course on American History, the books in the Routledge Historical Americans series show the impact everyday people can have on the course of history.
Puritan politician, lawyer, and lay theologian John Winthrop fled England in 1630 when it looked like Charles I had successfully blocked all hopes of passing Puritan-inspired reforms in Parliament. Leading a migration, he came to New England in the hopes of creating an ideal Puritan community and eventually became the governor of Massachusetts. Winthrop is remembered for his role in the Puritan migration to the colonies and for delivering what is probably the most famous lay sermon in American history, "A Model of Christian Charity." In it he proclaimed that New England would be "a city upon a hill"--an example for future colonies. In John Winthrop: Founding the City upon a Hill, Michael Parker examines the political and religious history of this iconic figure. In this short biography, bolstered by letters, sermons, and maps, John Winthrop introduces students to the colonial world, the Pequot Wars, and the history of American Exceptionalism.
Brigham Young was one of the most influential—and controversial—Mormon leaders in American history. An early follower of the new religion, he led the cross-continental migration of the Mormon people from Illinois to Utah, where he built a vast religious empire that was both revolutionary and authoritarian, radically different from yet informed by the existing culture of the U.S. With his powerful personality and sometimes paradoxical convictions, Young left an enduring stamp on both his church and the region, and his legacy remains active today. In a lively, concise narrative bolstered by primary documents, and supplemented by a robust companion website, David Mason tells the dynamic story of Brigham Young, and in the process, illuminates the history of the LDS Church, religion in America, and the development of the American west. This book will be a vital resource for anyone seeking to understand the complex, uniquely American origins of a church that now counts over 15 million members worldwide.
In 1931, the New York Times hailed Belle Case La Follette as "probably the least known yet most influential of all the American women who have had to do with public affairs." A dedicated advocate for women's suffrage, peace, and other causes, she served as a key advisor to her husband, leading Progressive politician Robert La Follette. She also wielded considerable influence through her own speeches and journalism, as when she opposed racism by speaking out against the segregation of the federal government under President Woodrow Wilson. In a concise, lively, and engaging narrative, Nancy C. Unger shows how Belle La Follette uniquely contributed to progressive reform, as well as the ways her work was typical of women--and progressives--of her time. Supported by primary documents and a robust companion website, this book introduces students of American history to an extraordinary woman and the era of Progressive reform.
Contemporary American conservatism – a mélange of ideas, people, and organizations – is difficult to define; even conservatives themselves are unable to agree about its essential meaning. Yet the conservative movement is well financed, exerts strong influence in the Republican Party, inspires followers throughout the land, and has spawned a network of think tanks and media outlets that are the envy of its competitors. It is a powerful political force with which to be reckoned. This book examines how that has come about and what contemporary conservatism signifies for US politics and policy. It looks at the recent history of conservatism in America as well as its antecedents in the UK, traces changes over time using American National Election Study data from 1972 to the present in what it means when people say they are conservatives, and assesses the prospects for American conservatism, both in the near term electoral context and over the longer term as well.
The Routledge History of American Foodways provides an important overview of the main themes surrounding the history of food in the Americas from the pre-colonial era to the present day. By broadly incorporating the latest food studies research, the book explores the major advances that have taken place in the past few decades in this crucial field. The volume is composed of four parts. The first part explores the significant developments in US food history in one of five time periods to situate the topical and thematic chapters to follow. The second part examines the key ingredients in the American diet throughout time, allowing authors to analyze many of these foods as items that originated in or dramatically impacted the Americas as a whole, and not just the United States. The third part focuses on how these ingredients have been transformed into foods identified with the American diet, and on how Americans have produced and presented these foods over the last four centuries. The final section explores how food practices are a means of embodying ideas about identity, showing how food choices, preferences, and stereotypes have been used to create and maintain ideas of difference. Including essays on all the key topics and issues, The Routledge History of American Foodways comprises work from a leading group of scholars and presents a comprehensive survey of the current state of the field. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the history of food in American culture.
Conservatism in the Black Community examines the contemporary meanings of Black Conservatism and its influence on black political behavior, providing a basis for understanding the impact this phenomenon has on black political behavior. Lewis analyzes conservatism within the black ideological framework, while also explaining the meaning of conservatism in the black community. While scholars have argued that the level of support for conservatism among blacks is minimal because conservatism is antithetical to black interest, there are a cadre of conservative political intellectuals and political elites in America. Do their views influence those of the wider Black population? Or does the media merely amplify their voices but with little support? What part of contemporary Black conservatism has found a home in the Tea Party movement? Focusing on what conservatism means to Blacks at the grassroots level and in what issue areas Blacks as a whole tend to have more conservative views, this work neither critiques nor praises Black Conservatism. The results of Lewis’s mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies will be of strong interest to students and scholars of Black politics, Black studies, and political behavior more generally.

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