Catalogue


Still seeing red : how the Cold War shapes the new American politics /
John Kenneth White.
edition
Update and expanded ed.
imprint
Boulder, Colo : Westview Press, c1998.
description
vi, 439 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0813318890 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Boulder, Colo : Westview Press, c1998.
isbn
0813318890 (pbk. : alk. paper)
general note
Originally published: 1997. With a new chapter and epilogue.
catalogue key
2347753
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-05-01:
White (Catholic Univ. of America), author of The New Politics of Old Values (2nd ed, 1990), has written an engaging and enlightening book about the numerous and subtle ways that America's confrontation with Soviet communism cut a swath through America's political culture, its party system, and foreign policy. The author's thesis is that the fear of communism (both external and internal) established a litmus test for all public officials after WW II that cut off political debate from the left, enfeebled and intimidated New Deal liberals, split the Democratic party coalition, and provided politicians, particularly Republicans, with experience in the "wedge issues" and "dirty tricks" that have become the hallmark of contemporary campaign tactics. The litmus test that elected officials not be "soft on communism" instilled a politics of fear that elevated the presidency to a plebiscitary office so that "a new party system without parties became an enduring legacy of the Cold War." White draws on a wealth of declassified memoranda and government documents, newly released information from the Soviet archives, recently published autobiographies by prominent leaders of the Cold War, and numerous other primary sources that shed new light on old fears and accusations. He also surveys 50 years of public opinion polls to document the depth and persistence of the American public's fear of communism and its effect on their voting behavior and political culture. Ultimately, White identifies and traces political events that penetrated so deeply into American political culture that their impact still affects the shape of contemporary politics. Appropriate for general audiences and courses in American politics, political development, political parties, and American foreign policy. C. W. Barrow University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-09-01:
The first reaction to this work might be, "Another book on the Cold War?" But White (politics, Catholic Univ. of America) adds new features to this well-known landscape. Building on his The Fractured Electorate (1980) and The New Politics of Old Values (Univ. Pr. of New England, 1990. 2d ed.), he makes his main point: that domestic politics since 1945 was shaped by America's enmity toward the USSR and its Communist system. What makes White's book a little better than most is that he artfully weaves into his story numerous polls conducted during the Cold War consistently revealing that most Americans applauded a tough approach to the Soviets and that both political parties competed strenuously for the title of tougher on the Commies. With the Cold War over, White points out that the United States has no obvious enemy, which has led, he believes, to increased domestic acrimony. This thoughtful critique of how foreign affairs can dictate domestic politics is recommended for academic and larger public libraries.‘Edward Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
John Kenneth White explores how the Cold War moulded the internal politics of the United States, from civil rights and social welfare to education and defence policy, over a 50 year period.
Main Description
In Still Seeing Red, John Kenneth White explores how the Cold War molded the internal politics of the United States. In a powerful narrative backed by a rich treasure trove of polling data, White takes the reader through the Cold War years, describing its effect in redrawing the electoral map as we came to know it after World War II. The primary beneficiaries of the altered landscape were reinvigorated Republicans who emerged after five successive defeats to tar the Democrats with the "soft on communism" epithet. A new nationalist Republican party--whose Cold War prescription for winning the White House was copyrighted to Dwight Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan--attained primacy in presidential politics because of two contradictory impulses embedded in the American character: a fanatical preoccupation with communism and a robust liberalism. From 1952 to 1988 Republicans won the presidency seven times in ten tries. The rare Democratic victors--John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter--attempted to rearm the Democratic party to fight the Cold War. Their collective failure says much about the politics of the period. Even so, the Republican dream of becoming a majority party became perverted as the Grand Old Party was recast into a top-down party routinely winning the presidency even as its electoral base remained relatively stagnant.In the post-Cold War era, Americans are coming to appreciate how the fifty-year struggle with the Soviet Union organized thinking in such diverse areas as civil rights, social welfare, education, and defense policy. At the same time, Americans are also more aware of how the Cold War shaped their lives--from the "duck and cover" drills in the classrooms to the bomb shelters dug in the backyard when most Baby Boomers were growing up. Like millions of Baby Boomers, Bill Clinton can truthfully say, "I am a child of the Cold War."With the last gasp of the Soviet Union, Baby Boomers and others are learning that the politics of the Cold War are hard to shed. As the electoral maps are being redrawn once more in the Clinton years, landmarks left behind by the Cold War provide an important reference point. In the height of the Cold War, voters divided the world into "us" noncommunists versus "them" communists and reduced contests for the presidency into battles of which party would be tougher in dealing with the Evil Empire. But in a convoluted post-Cold War era, politics defies such simple characteristics and presidents find it harder to lead. Recalling how John F. Kennedy could so easily rally public opinion, an exasperated Bill Clinton once lamented, "Gosh, I miss the Cold War."
Main Description
In Still Seeing Red, John Kenneth White explores how the Cold War molded the internal politics of the United States. In a powerful narrative backed by a rich treasure trove of polling data, White takes the reader through the Cold War years, describing its effect in redrawing the electoral map as we came to know it after World War II. The primary beneficiaries of the altered landscape were reinvigorated Republicans who emerged after five successive defeats to tar the Democrats with the "soft on communism" epithet. A new nationalist Republican party--whose Cold War prescription for winning the White House was copyrighted to Dwight Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan--attained primacy in presidential politics because of two contradictory impulses embedded in the American character: a fanatical preoccupation with communism and a robust liberalism. From 1952 to 1988 Republicans won the presidency seven times in ten tries. The rare Democratic victors--JohnF. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter--attempted to rearm the Democratic party to fight the Cold War. Their collective failure says much about the politics of the period. Even so, the Republican dream of becoming a majority party became perverted as the Grand Old Party was recast into a top-down party routinely winning the presidency even as its electoral base remained relatively stagnant.In the post-Cold War era, Americans are coming to appreciate how the fifty-year strugglewith the Soviet Union organized thinking in such diverse areas as civil rights, social welfare, education, and defense policy. At the same time, Americans are also more aware of how the Cold War shaped their lives--from the "duck and cover" drills in the classrooms to the bomb shelters dug in the backyard when most Baby Boomers were growing up. Like millions of Baby Boomers, Bill Clinton can truthfully say, "I am a child of the Cold War."With the last gasp of the Soviet Union, Baby Boomers and others are learning that the politics of the Cold War are hard to shed. As the electoral maps are being redrawn once more in the Clinton years, landmarks left behind by the Cold War provide an important reference point. In the height of the Cold War, voters divided the world into "us" noncommunists versus "them" communists and reduced contests for the presidency into battles of which party would be tougher in dealing with the Evil Empire. But in aconvoluted post-Cold War era, politics defies such simple characteristics and presidents find it harder to lead. Recalling how John F. Kennedy could so easily rally public opinion, an exasperated Bill Clinton once lamented, "Gosh, I miss the Cold War."
Main Description
InStill Seeing Red,John Kenneth White explores how the Cold War molded the internal politics of the United States. In a powerful narrative backed by a rich treasure trove of polling data, White takes the reader through the Cold War years, describing its effect in redrawing the electoral map as we came to know it after World War II. The primary beneficiaries of the altered landscape were reinvigorated Republicans who emerged after five successive defeats to tar the Democrats with the "soft on communism" epithet. A new nationalist Republican partywhose Cold War prescription for winning the White House was copyrighted to Dwight Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reaganattained primacy in presidential politics because of two contradictory impulses embedded in the American character: a fanatical preoccupation with communism and a robust liberalism. From 1952 to 1988 Republicans won the presidency seven times in ten tries. The rare Democratic victorsJohn F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carterattempted to rearm the Democratic party to fight the Cold War. Their collective failure says much about the politics of the period. Even so, the Republican dream of becoming a majority party became perverted as the Grand Old Party was recast into a top-down party routinely winning the presidency even as its electoral base remained relatively stagnant.In the postCold War era, Americans are coming to appreciate how the fifty-year struggle with the Soviet Union organized thinking in such diverse areas as civil rights, social welfare, education, and defense policy. At the same time, Americans are also more aware of how the Cold War shaped their livesfrom the "duck and cover" drills in the classrooms to the bomb shelters dug in the backyard when most Baby Boomers were growing up. Like millions of Baby Boomers, Bill Clinton can truthfully say, "I am a child of the Cold War."With the last gasp of the Soviet Union, Baby Boomers and others are learning that the politics of the Cold War are hard to shed. As the electoral maps are being redrawn once more in the Clinton years, landmarks left behind by the Cold War provide an important reference point. In the height of the Cold War, voters divided the world into "us" noncommunists versus "them" communists and reduced contests for the presidency into battles of which party would be tougher in dealing with the Evil Empire. But in a convoluted postCold War era, politics defies such simple characteristics and presidents find it harder to lead. Recalling how John F. Kennedy could so easily rally public opinion, an exasperated Bill Clinton once lamented, "Gosh, I miss the Cold War."
Unpaid Annotation
With the last gasp of the Soviet Union, Baby Boomers are learning that cold War politics are hard to leave behind. In a powerful narrative, political scientist John Kenneth White takes the reader through the Cold War years, describing its effect in redrawing the electoral map after World War II.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Who Are We?p. 1
Cold War Fears and Party Response
1945-1946: Lost Innocencep. 19
1947-1950: The New Politics of Old Fearsp. 48
1952: The Transforming Electionp. 79
The Cold War Party System
The Nationalist Republicansp. 107
The Divided Democratsp. 151
Diminished Parties in Search of a New Politics
High Anxiety: Post-Cold War Politicsp. 199
The Collapse of the Old Orderp. 254
Notesp. 287
Bibliographyp. 349
About the Book and Authorp. 371
Indexp. 373
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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