In this volume of original essays, a distinguished group of scholars and activists reassess the mixed legacy of this third major reform period of the last century. They examine not only the policies and programs that were part of LBJ's Great Society, but also the underlying ideological and political shifts that changed the nature of liberalism. Some of the essays focus on Lyndon Johnson himself and the institution of the modern presidency, others on specific reform measures, and still others on the impact of these initiatives in the decades that followed. Perspectives, methodologies, and conclusions differ, yet all of the contributors agree that the Great Society represented an important chapter in the story of the American republic and its ongoing struggle to reconcile the power of the state with the rights of individuals -- a struggle that has continued into the twenty-first century.
In addition to the editors, contributors include Henry J. Abraham, Brian Balogh, Rosalyn Baxandall, Edward Berkowitz, Eileen Boris, Richard A. Cloward, Hugh Davis Graham, Hugh Heclo, Frederick Hess, William E. Leuchtenburg, Nelson Lichtenstein, Patrick McGuinn, Wilson Carey McWilliams, R. Shep Melnick, Frances Fox Piven, and David M. Shribman.
In this collection of original essays, a distinguished group of political scientists and historians reevaluate the legacy of the New Deal, showing how Roosevelt and his allies forged an enduring public philosophy -- modern liberalism -- that redefined the relationship of government and governed. Adapting broad principles from the past to the unprecedented circumstances of a worldwide depression, the New Dealers shifted American politics away from its traditional emphasis on self-reliance, private property, and decentralized power. In its place they advocated a new "economic constitutional order" -- in effect, a new social contract -- in which the government guaranteed protection to individuals against the uncertainties of the marketplace.
Although the contributors differ in their assessment of the successes and failures of New Deal liberalism, all agree that its implications for American political life were profound and far-reaching -- in the realm of foreign as well as domestic affairs, for the theory as well as the practice of government. Taken together, the essays offer a fresh look at the many ways the New Deal, in Harry Hopkins's phrase, "made America over."
In addition to the editors, contributors are William E. Leuchtenburg, Marc Landy, Nelson Lichtenstein, Donald R. Brand, Jyette Klausen, Suzanne Mettler, Ronald Story, Seyom Brown, and Morton Keller.
This project is the basis for a new series of digital shorts published as Miller Center Studies on the Presidency. Presented as specially priced collections published exclusively in an ebook format, these timely examinations recognize the experiences of past presidents as an invaluable resource that can edify and instruct the incoming president.
Contributors: Anno O. Law, Brooklyn College * David A. Martin, University of Virginia * Gary Freeman, University of Texas at Austin * Daniel Tichenor, University of Oregon * David Leblang and Sidney Milkis, University of Virginia