Essay Cove

Essay Cove

Drawing upon course materials (not outside sources), how would you characterize and explain the transformation of the United States from 1968 to the Reagan Era?

You are only allowed to use sources from the following list and must use one from each time period (recommended to do each time period as a paragraph):

1. Chaos or Community?: The Challenge of the Civil Rights Struggle

            For discussion:

      Martin Luther King Jr., Where do We Go From Here, Chaos or Community?, excerpt

      Bayard Rustin, From Protest to Politics Commentary 1965. 



2. Radicalization

For discussion:

      Carl Oglesby, Liberalism and the Corporate State, New Left Notes 1, no. 1 (January 21, 1966): 2-3.

      You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows, New Left Notes, June 18, 1969

      Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, (watch first 7 segments, about 25 mins)

      Tom Wolfe, Radical ChicThat Party at Lennys New York Magazine (June 8, 1970).


3. War

For discussion:

      Kenrick Oliver, Atrocity, Authenticity and American Exceptionalism: (Ir)rationalising the Massacre at My Lai, Journal of American Studies 37, no. 2 (2003): 247268.

      Derek Siedman, Vietnam and the Soldiers Revolt: The Politics of a Forgotten History, Monthly Review 68, no. 2 (June 2016): 45-57.



4. Rebellions

For discussion:

      Gary Declaration, National Black Political Convention, 1972

      Plan Espirtual Atzlan, 1969

      Trail of Broken Treaties Position Paper, 1972; 

      The Stonewall Riot, 1969



5. Reaction

For discussion:

      Powell Memo, August 23, 1971

      Bruce H. Kalk, Wormleys Hotel Revisited: Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy and the End of the Second Reconstruction, The North Carolina Historical Review 71, no. 1 (January 1994): 85-105.



6. Disillusion: Vietnam, Watergate, and the CIAs Dirty Tricks

For discussion:

      A Look Back at the Watergate Hearings, PBS

      Eyewitness to Watergate: A Documentary History for Students (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2007), excerpts.

      Loch K. Johnson, James Angleton and the Church Committee, Journal of Cold War Studies 15, no. 4 (Fall 2013): 128-147.


7. 1970s Culture Wars Over Feminism, Abortion, and Gay/Lesbian Rights

For discussion:

      Lawrence J. McAndrews, Before Roe: Catholics, Nixon, and the Changing Politics of Birth Control, Fides et Historia 47, no. 1 (Winter/Spring2015): 24-43.

      Claire Bond Potter, Paths to Political Citizenship: Gay Rights, Feminism, and the Carter Presidency, Journal of Policy History 24, no. 1 (2012): 95-114.

      Gillian Frank, The Civil Rights of Parents: Race and Conservative Politics in Anita Bryant’s Campaign against Gay Rights in 1970s Florida, Journal of the History of Sexuality 22, no. 1 (Jan. 2013): 126-160.



8. Structural Racism and the Limits of the Second Reconstruction

For discussion:

      Ronald Formisano, Boston Against Busing: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1993), chapter 4.

      Struggles in Steel, dir. Tony Buba



9. The 1970s Economy and the Neo-Liberal Breakthrough

For discussion:

      Daniel Rodgers, Age of Fracture (2011), chapter 2.

      Milton Friedman, The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits, 1971



10. Jimmy Carter and the Transformation of the Post-1960s Democratic Party

For discussion:

      Taylor Dark, The Unions and the Democrats: An Enduring Alliance (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999), Chapter 5.

      Brent Cebul, Supply-Side Liberalism: Fiscal Crisis, Post-Industrial Policy, and the Rise of the New Democrats, Modern American History 2 (2019): 139164.



11. Weakening Union Power and Workers in a Post-Industrial Economy

For discussion:

      Lane Windham, Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of the New Economic Divide (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), 152-177.

      Gabriel Winant, Hard Times Make for Hard Arteries and Hard Livers: Deindustrialization, Biopolitics, and the Making of a New Working Class, Journal of Social History 53, no. 1 (2019): 107132.

      Josiah Rector, The Spirit of Black Lake: Full Employment, Civil Rights, and the Forgotten Early History of Environmental Justice, Modern American History, 1, no. 1 (2018): 45-66.

      Joseph A. McCartin, Fire the Hell Out of Them: Sanitation Workers Struggles and the Normalization of the Striker Replacement Strategy in the 1970s, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 2:3 (Fall 2005): 67-92.



12. The Reagan Revolution

For discussion:

      Doug Rossinow, The Reagan Era (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), excerpt.

      Arthur Laffer, Taking the Side of Supply, Los Angeles Times, February 8, 1981.

      American Dream (1988) dir. Barbara Koppel

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