"Chicago '68 was a watershed summer. Chicago '68 is a watershed book. Farber succeeds in presenting a sensitive, fairminded composite portrait that is at once a model of fine narrative history and an example of how one can walk the intellectual tightrope between 'reporting one's findings' and offering judgements about them."—Peter I. Rose, Contemporary Sociology
Unlike other histories of the subject, Farber's vivid and fast-paced narrative looks beyond the day-to-day circumstances of the crisis, using the events leading up to the ordeal as a means for understanding it. The book paints a portrait of the 1970s in the United States as an era of failed expectations in a nation plagued by uncertainty and anxiety. It reveals an American government ill prepared for the fall of the Shah of Iran and unable to reckon with the Ayatollah Khomeini and his militant Islamic followers.
Farber's account is filled with fresh insights regarding the central players in the crisis: Khomeini emerges as an astute strategist, single-mindedly dedicated to creating an Islamic state. The Americans' student-captors appear as less-than-organized youths, having prepared for only a symbolic sit-in with just a three-day supply of food. ABC news chief Roone Arledge, newly installed and eager for ratings, is cited as a critical catalyst in elevating the hostages to cause célèbre status.
Throughout the book there emerge eerie parallels to the current terrorism crisis. Then as now, Farber demonstrates, politicians failed to grasp the depth of anger that Islamic fundamentalists harbored toward the United States, and Americans dismissed threats from terrorist groups as the crusades of ineffectual madmen.
Taken Hostage is a timely and revealing history of America's first engagement with terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, one that provides a chilling reminder that the past is only prologue.
But as Beth Bailey and David Farber show in this evocative and timely book, Hawaii was also the first strange place on another kind of journey, toward the new American society that began to emerge in the postwar era. Unlike the largely rigid and static social order of prewar America, this was to be a highly mobile and volatile society of mixed racial and cultural influences, one above all in which women and minorities would increasingly demand and receive equal status. With consummate skill and sensitivity, Bailey and Farber show how these unprecedented changes were tested and explored in the highly charged environment of wartime Hawaii.
Most of the hundreds of thousands of men and women whom war brought to Hawaii were expecting a Hollywood image of “paradise.” What they found instead was vastly different: a complex crucible in which radically diverse elements – social, racial, sexual – were mingled and transmuted in the heat and strain of war. Drawing on the rich and largely untapped reservoir of documents, diaries, memoirs, and interviews with men and women who were there, the authors vividly recreate the dense, lush, atmosphere of wartime Hawaii – an atmosphere that combined the familiar and exotic in a mixture that prefigured the special strangeness of American society today.
Farber paints vivid portraits of Robert Taft, William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, Phyllis Schlafly, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. He shows how these outspoken, charismatic, and frequently controversial conservative leaders were united by a shared insistence on the primacy of social order, national security, and economic liberty. Farber demonstrates how they built a versatile movement capable of gaining and holding power, from Taft's opposition to the New Deal to Buckley's founding of the National Review as the intellectual standard-bearer of modern conservatism; from Goldwater's crusade against leftist politics and his failed 1964 bid for the presidency to Schlafly's rejection of feminism in favor of traditional gender roles and family values; and from Reagan's city upon a hill to conservatism's downfall with Bush's ambitious presidency.
The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism provides rare insight into how conservatives captured the American political imagination by claiming moral superiority, downplaying economic inequality, relishing bellicosity, and embracing nationalism. This concise and accessible history reveals how these conservative leaders discovered a winning formula that enabled them to forge a powerful and formidable political majority.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
While many people around the world continue to see the United States as a model despite the Iraq war and the war on terror, the U.S. response to 9/11 has undoubtedly intensified global anti-Americanism. What They Think of Us reveals that substantial goodwill toward America still exists, but that this sympathy is in peril--and that there is an immense gap between how Americans view their country and how it is viewed abroad.
Drawing on broad research and personal experience while avoiding anecdotalism and polemics, the writers gathered here combine political, cultural, and historical analysis to explain how people in different parts of the world see the United States. They show that not all anti-Americanism can be blamed on U.S. foreign policy. America is disliked not just for what it does but also for what it is, and perceptions of both are profoundly shaped--and sometimes warped--by the domestic realities of the countries where anti-Americanism thrives. In addition to analyzing America's battered global reputation, these writers propose ways the United States and other countries can build better relations through greater understanding and respect.