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More equal than others : America from Nixon to the new century /
Godfrey Hodgson.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
description
xxiii, 379 p.
ISBN
0691117888 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
isbn
0691117888 (alk. paper)
general note
"A Century Foundation book".
catalogue key
5079883
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-02-16:
Hodgson sets out to say some things outside "the two ruling narratives of American history over the past three decades: the liberal recessional or conservative triumphalism." Above all, he observes, "Great and growing inequality has been the most salient social fact about the America of the conservative ascendancy. It is hard not to ask whether that was not one of the conservatives' strategic goals." Yet inequality is mentioned more than discussed, while conservative mechanisms that may increase it are barely even mentioned until 100 pages later. Despite occasional flashes of insight, Hodgson, biographer of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and a scholar at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University, repeatedly muddles matters with generous dollops from those ruling narratives-such as the Democratic Leadership Council's analysis of what ailed the Democrats in the 1980s-regurgitated as gospel. Similarly, he attributes white backlash to "the noisy claims of radical black leadership" in his chapter on race, while his chapter on women blames articulate feminists not so much for antagonizing men and conservative women but for letting their middle-class "cultural" movement get in the way of a second, "primarily economic" women's movement, "silent and largely the sum of private decisions." He rightly notes that the Internet boom was built on decades of government-funded, university-nurtured research, then says, "[T]he legendary entrepreneurs deserve every bit of their fame and fortune." Hodgson inadvertently demonstrates what he seeks to explain: how inequality can grow so sharply, yet be marginalized in political discourse. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
[A] wonderfully written, wide-ranging and profoundly depressing book. Hodgson's theme is that the US has changed for the worse in the past 25 years: inequality is supplanting equality, even equality of opportunity.
"[A] wonderfully written, wide-ranging and profoundly depressing book. Hodgson's theme is that the US has changed for the worse in the past 25 years: inequality is supplanting equality, even equality of opportunity."-- Kathleen Burk, Financial Times
[A] wonderfully written, wide-ranging and profoundly depressing book. Hodgson's theme is that the US has changed for the worse in the past 25 years: inequality is supplanting equality, even equality of opportunity. -- Kathleen Burk, Financial Times
Godfrey Hodgson . . . delivers a relentless indictment of an American grown . . . far too sure of itself. In More Equal Than Others, he argues that a wave of right-wing triumphalism has overtaken the country since the Soviet Union's death from exhaustion. In its train, it has brought us a sanctification of the unfettered market, an intensification of Americans' long-standing contempt for government, and--most appallingly--a complacent acceptance of unprecedented inequalities in wealth, education, and opportunity.
"Godfrey Hodgson . . . delivers a relentless indictment of an American grown . . . far too sure of itself. In More Equal Than Others , he argues that a wave of right-wing triumphalism has overtaken the country since the Soviet Union's death from exhaustion. In its train, it has brought us a sanctification of the unfettered market, an intensification of Americans long-standing contempt for government, and--most appallingly--a complacent acceptance of unprecedented inequalities in wealth, education, and opportunity."-- Matthew A. Crenson, Political Science Quarterly
Godfrey Hodgson . . . delivers a relentless indictment of an American grown . . . far too sure of itself. In More Equal Than Others , he argues that a wave of right-wing triumphalism has overtaken the country since the Soviet Union's death from exhaustion. In its train, it has brought us a sanctification of the unfettered market, an intensification of Americans' long-standing contempt for government, and--most appallingly--a complacent acceptance of unprecedented inequalities in wealth, education, and opportunity. -- Matthew A. Crenson, Political Science Quarterly
Godfrey Hodgson . . . delivers a relentless indictment of an American grown . . . far too sure of itself. InMore Equal Than Others, he argues that a wave of right-wing triumphalism has overtaken the country since the Soviet Union's death from exhaustion. In its train, it has brought us a sanctification of the unfettered market, an intensification of Americans' long-standing contempt for government, and--most appallingly--a complacent acceptance of unprecedented inequalities in wealth, education, and opportunity. -- Matthew A. Crenson, Political Science Quarterly
[Hodgson] sees a country which the postwar liberal consensus has indeed moved right, turning free-market capitalism from an economic theory into a cultural template. The result is an America in which financial segregation increasingly preserves opportunity for a wealthy elite. . . . [He] argues convincingly that American society has come to resemble old-fashioned Europe, with its strictly class-structured elites.
"[Hodgson] sees a country which the postwar liberal consensus has indeed moved right, turning free-market capitalism from an economic theory into a cultural template. The result is an America in which financial segregation increasingly preserves opportunity for a wealthy elite. . . . [He] argues convincingly that American society has come to resemble old-fashioned Europe, with its strictly class-structured elites."-- Michael Carlson, The Spectator
[Hodgson] sees a country which the postwar liberal consensus has indeed moved right, turning free-market capitalism from an economic theory into a cultural template. The result is an America in which financial segregation increasingly preserves opportunity for a wealthy elite. . . . [He] argues convincingly that American society has come to resemble old-fashioned Europe, with its strictly class-structured elites. -- Michael Carlson, The Spectator
"In More Equal Than Others," an up-to-the-minute critique of modern American life, the British historian Godfrey Hodgson combines intelligent discussions of pressures that have shaped American society during the last quarter-century . . . With a factoid-packed jeremiad against the triumph of the suburb--the demographic zone where half the population now lives, where two-thirds of new jobs are located, whose voting strength overawes Congress. . . . Although Hodgson writes as a liberal, he levels [his] charges across party lines.
" In More Equal Than Others , an up-to-the-minute critique of modern American life, the British historian Godfrey Hodgson combines intelligent discussions of pressures that have shaped American society during the last quarter-century . . . With a factoid-packed jeremiad against the triumph of the suburb--the demographic zone where half the population now lives, where two-thirds of new jobs are located, whose voting strength overawes Congress. . . . Although Hodgson writes as a liberal, he levels [his] charges across party lines."-- Allen D. Boyer, New York Times Book Review
In More Equal Than Others , an up-to-the-minute critique of modern American life, the British historian Godfrey Hodgson combines intelligent discussions of pressures that have shaped American society during the last quarter-century . . . With a factoid-packed jeremiad against the triumph of the suburb--the demographic zone where half the population now lives, where two-thirds of new jobs are located, whose voting strength overawes Congress. . . . Although Hodgson writes as a liberal, he levels [his] charges across party lines. -- Allen D. Boyer, New York Times Book Review
In More Equal Than Others, an up-to-the-minute critique of modern American life, the British historian Godfrey Hodgson combines intelligent discussions of pressures that have shaped American society during the last quarter-century . . . With a factoid-packed jeremiad against the triumph of the suburb--the demographic zone where half the population now lives, where two-thirds of new jobs are located, whose voting strength overawes Congress. . . . Although Hodgson writes as a liberal, he levels [his] charges across party lines. -- Allen D. Boyer, New York Times Book Review
In More Equal Than Others, an up-to-the-minute critique of modern American life, the British historian Godfrey Hodgson combines intelligent discussions of pressures that have shaped American society during the last quarter-century . . . with a factoid-packed jermiad against the triumph of the suburb--the demographic zone where half the population now lives, where two-thirds of new jobs are located, whose voting strength overawes Congress. . . . Although Hodgson writes as a liberal, he levels [his] charges across party lines.
The most thoughtful, thorough and sorrowful book imaginable on what has happened in these years.
"The most thoughtful, thorough and sorrowful book imaginable on what has happened in these years."-- Bernard Crick, The Independent
The most thoughtful, thorough and sorrowful book imaginable on what has happened in these years. -- Bernard Crick, The Independent
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 2004
New York Times Book Review, August 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
During the past quarter century, free-market capitalism was recognised not merely as a successful system of wealth creation, but as the key determinant of the health of political and cultural democracy. This is a look back on 25 years of what Hodgson calls 'the conservative ascendancy'.
Main Description
During the past quarter century, free-market capitalism was recognized not merely as a successful system of wealth creation, but as the key determinant of the health of political and cultural democracy. Now, renowned British journalist and historian Godfrey Hodgson takes aim at this popular view in a book that promises to become one of the most important political histories of our time. More Equal Than Others looks back on twenty-five years of what Hodgson calls "the conservative ascendancy" in America, demonstrating how it has come to dominate American politics. Hodgson disputes the notion that the rise of conservatism has spread affluence and equality to the American people. Quite the contrary, he writes, the most distinctive feature of American society in the closing years of the twentieth century was its great and growing inequality. He argues that the combination of conservative ideology and corporate power and dominance by mass media obsessed with lifestyle and celebrity have caused America to abandon much of what was best in its past. In fact, he writes, income and wealth inequality have become so extreme that America now resembles the class-stratified societies of early twentieth-century Europe. More Equal Than Others addresses a broad range of issues, with chapters on politics, the new economy, immigration, technology, women, race, and foreign policy, among others. A fitting sequel to the author's critically acclaimed America In Our Time , More Equal Than Others is not only an outstanding synthesis of history, but a trenchant commentary on the state of the American Dream.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction Disappointment and Denialp. xvii
State of the Unionp. 1
New Politicsp. 29
New Technologyp. 61
New Economicsp. 87
New Immigrantsp. 112
New Womenp. 139
New South, Old Racep. 172
New Societyp. 203
New Worldp. 249
New Centuryp. 288
Notesp. 305
Select Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 361
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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