Age of Fracture by Daniel T. Rodgers

By Daniel T. Rodgers

Within the final area of the 20 th century, the tips that almost all americans lived through began to fragment. Mid-century innovations of nationwide consensus, controlled markets, gender and racial identities, citizen legal responsibility, and old reminiscence grew to become extra fluid. versatile markets disregarded Keynesian macroeconomic constructions. Racial and gender unity divided into a number of identities; neighborhood accountability shrank to smaller circles. during this wide-ranging narrative, Daniel Rodgers exhibits how the collective reasons and meanings that had framed social debate grew to become unhinged and unsure. Age of Fracture bargains a strong reinterpretation of the ways that the a long time surrounding the Nineteen Eighties replaced the United States. via a contagion of visions and metaphors, on either the highbrow correct and the highbrow left, previous notions of heritage and society that under pressure solidity, collective associations, and social situations gave technique to a extra individualized human nature that emphasised selection, company, functionality, and wish. On a large canvas that incorporates Michel Foucault, Ronald Reagan, Judith Butler, Charles Murray, Jeffrey Sachs, and lots of extra, Rodgers explains how constructions of strength got here to appear less significant than industry selection and fluid selves. slicing around the social and political arenas of late-twentieth-century existence and concept, from fiscal idea and the tradition wars to disputes over poverty, color-blindness, and sisterhood, Rodgers unearths how our different types of social fact were fractured and destabilized. As we survey the highbrow wreckage of this battle of rules, we greater comprehend the emergence of our current age of uncertainty. (20101201)

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Rogers–derived props of neighborliness. Carter and his advisers, struggling to read the minds and the anguish of the people, worried through a relationship that Reagan simply took for granted. ”46 Reagan’s commitment to these lines was unswerving. ” In fact it had been part of Reagan’s core stock of phrases since at least the mid-1960s. In Reagan’s mind the anecdote paired with the words was always the same. In other countries, governments told the people what to do. ”47 To insist on the concrete reality of “the people” was, for Reagan and conservative Republicans, an essential precondition to the act of wedging the government and the people apart into sharply antagonistic political fields.

His métier was that of the program host: the president as the nation’s off-camera narrator. The point is true literally as well as figuratively. Reagan’s speechwriters were the first to exploit to the full the possibilities of removing the president from the center of the camera’s eye. Toward the end of his First Inaugural address, Reagan turned from the guiding principles of his foreign policy, through a short paragraph telegraphing his support for school prayer, suddenly to the view of the city from the West Front of the Capitol.

23 In these cheerleading motifs, Reagan’s speechwriters retold the story of the American past. The doubts and inner divisions of the revolutionary era, the anguish of the Civil War, the stresses of twentieth-century social change were edited out. The story of a people “born unto trouble” but nevertheless “always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again,” as Lyndon Johnson had put the American story, was reconstructed as a country of timeless confidence, in which past and present met on a field of eternally positive thinking.

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