- Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Hardback | 608 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 231mm x 41mm | 726g
- Publication date: 7 March 2005
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0521840651
- ISBN 13: 9780521840651
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 7 b/w illus. 13 maps 5 tables
- Sales rank: 1,656,002
Quest for Identity, published in 2005, is a survey of the American experience from the close of World War II, through the Cold War and 9/11, to the present. It helps students understand postwar American history through a seamless narrative punctuated with accessible analyses. Randall Woods addresses and explains the major themes that punctuate the period: the Cold War, the Civil Rights and Women's Rights movements, and other great changes that led to major realignments of American life. While political history is emphasized, Woods also discusses in equal measure cultural matters and socio-economic problems. Dramatic new patterns of immigration and migration characterized the period as much as the counterculture, the growth of television and the Internet, the interstate highway system, rock and roll, and the exploration of space. The pageantry, drama, irony, poignancy and humor of the American journey since World War II are all here.
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Randall Bennett Woods is John A. Cooper Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. He has written widely on twentieth-century American history, including Dawning of the Cold War (1991), Changing of the Guard (1990), and Fulbright: A Biography (1995), which won both the Ferrell and Ledbetter Prizes. He was also editor of Vietnam and the American Political Tradition: The Politics of Dissent (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
'... Woods provides a good read, a comprehensive overview and a useful resource without losing his political and cultural acuity.' International Affairs
Table of contents
1. The republic in transition: demobilization and reconversion; 2. The origins of the Cold War; 3. Staying the course: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the politics of moderation; 4. Containing communism and managing the military-industrial complex: the Eisenhower Administration and the Cold War; 5. Capitalism and conformity: American society, 1945-60; 6. Liberalism reborn: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and the politics of activism; 7. The wages of globalism: foreign affairs during the Kennedy-Johnson era; 8. The dividing of America: Vietnam, Black Power, the counterculture, and the election of 1968; 9. Realpolitik or Imperialism? Nixon, Kissinger, and American foreign policy; 10. The limits of expediency: Richard M. Nixon and the American Presidency; 11. From confidence to anxiety: American Society, 1960-80; 12. Governing in a malaise: the presidencies of Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter; 13. The culture of narcissism: the Reagan era; 14. In search of balance: America into the twenty-first century.