Fifty years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce a federal court order desegregating the city's Central High School, a leading authority on Eisenhower presents an original and engrossing narrative that places Ike and his civil rights policies in dramatically new light. Historians such as Stephen Ambrose and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., have portrayed Eisenhower as aloof, if not outwardly hostile, to the plight of African-Americans in the 1950s. It is still widely assumed that he opposed the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision mandating the desegregation of public schools, that he deeply regretted appointing Earl Warren as the Court's chief justice because of his role in molding Brown, that he was a bystander in Congress's passage of the civil rights acts of 1957 and 1960, and that he so mishandled the Little Rock crisis that he was forced to dispatch troops to rescue a failed policy. In this sweeping narrative, David A. Nichols demonstrates that these assumptions are wrong. Drawing on archival documents neglected by biographers and scholars, including thousands of pages newly available from the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Nichols takes us inside the Oval Office to look over Ike's shoulder as he worked behind the scenes, prior to Brown, to desegregate the District of Columbia and complete the desegregation of the armed forces. We watch as Eisenhower, assisted by his close collaborator, Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., sifted through candidates for federal judgeships and appointed five pro-civil rights justices to the Supreme Court and progressive judges to lower courts. We witness Eisenhower crafting civil rights legislation, deftly building a congressional coalition that passed the first civil rights act in eighty-two years, and maneuvering to avoid a showdown with Orval Faubus, the governor of Arkansas, over desegregation of Little Rock's Central High. Nichols demonstrates that Eisenhower, though he was a product of his time and its backward racial attitudes, was actually more progressive on civil rights in the 1950s than his predecessor, Harry Truman, and his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Eisenhower was more a man of deeds than of words and preferred quiet action over grandstanding. His cautious public rhetoric -- especially his legalistic response to Brown -- gave a misleading impression that he was not committed to the cause of civil rights. In fact, Eisenhower's actions laid the legal and political groundwork for the more familiar breakthroughs in civil rights achieved in the 1960s. Fair, judicious, and exhaustively researched, A Matter of Justice is the definitive book on Eisenhower's civil rights policies that every presidential historian and future biographer of Ike will have to contend with.
Between 1944 and 1953, a power struggle emerged between New York governor Thomas Dewey and U.S. senator Robert Taft of Ohio that threatened to split the Republican Party. In The Roots of Modern Conservatism, Michael Bowen reveals how this two-man battle for control of the GOP--and the Republican presidential nomination--escalated into a divide of ideology that ultimately determined the party's political identity. Initially, Bowen argues, the separate Dewey and Taft factions endorsed fairly traditional Republican policies. However, as their conflict deepened, the normally mundane issues of political factions, such as patronage and fund-raising, were overshadowed by the question of what "true" Republicanism meant. Taft emerged as the more conservative of the two leaders, while Dewey viewed Taft's policies as outdated. Eventually, conservatives within the GOP organized against Dewey's leadership and, emboldened by the election of Dwight Eisenhower, transformed the party into a vehicle for the Right. Bowen reveals how this decade-long battle led to an outpouring of conservative sentiment that had been building since World War II, setting the stage for the ascendancy of Barry Goldwater and the modern conservative movement in the 1960s.
The story of black emancipation is one of the most dramatic themes of American history, covering racism, murder, poverty and extreme heroism. Figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are the demigods of the freedom movements, both film and household figures. This major text explores the African-American experience of the twentieth century with particular reference to six outstanding race leaders. Their philosophies and strategies for racial advancement are compared and set against the historical framework and constraints within which they functioned. The book also examines the 'grass roots' of black protest movements in America, paying particular attention to the major civil rights organizations as well as black separatist groups such as the Nation of Islam.
This book is a history of the civil liberties records of American presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. It examines the full range of civil liberties issues: First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, press, and assembly; due process; equal protection, including racial justice, women's rights, and lesbian and gay rights; privacy rights, including reproductive freedom; and national security issues. The book argues that presidents have not protected or advanced civil liberties, and that several have perpetrated some of worst violations. Some Democratic presidents (Wilson and Roosevelt), moreover, have violated civil liberties as badly as some Republican presidents (Nixon and Bush). This is the first book to examine the full civil liberties records of each president (thus, placing a president's record on civil rights with his record on national security issues), and also to compare the performance on particular issues of all the presidents covered.
Draws on hundreds of newly declassified documents to present an account of the Suez crisis that reveals the considerable danger it posed as well as the influence of the 34th president's illness and the 1956 election campaign. By the author of A Matter of Justice. 35,000 first printing.
The debate is as old as the American Republic and as current as this morning's headlines. Should a president employ the powers of the federal government to advance our national development and increase the influence and power of the United States around the world? Under what circumstances? What sort of balance should the president achieve between competing visions and values on the path to change? Over the course of American history, why have some presidents succeeded brilliantly in applying their power and influence while others have failed miserably? In Lincoln's Way, historian Richard Striner tells the story of America's rise to global power and the presidential leaders who envisioned it and made it happen. From Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt within the Republican Party, the legacy was passed along to FDR—the Democratic Roosevelt—who bequeathed it to Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy. Six presidents—three from each party—helped America fulfill its great potential. Their leadership spanned the huge gulf that exists between our ideological cultures: they drew from both conservative and liberal ideas, thus consolidating powerful centrist governance. No creed of mere "government for government's sake," their program was judicious: it used government for national necessities. But it also brought inspiring results, thus refuting the age-old American ultra-libertarian notion that "the government that governs best, governs least." In a forceful narrative blending intellectual history and presidential biography, Striner presents the legacy in full. An important challenge to conventional wisdom, Lincoln's Way offers both an intriguing way of looking at the past and a much-needed lens through which to view the present. As a result, the book could change the way we think about the future.
Roy Wilkins (1901--1981) spent forty-six years of his life serving the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and led the organization for more than twenty years. Under his leadership, the NAACP spearheaded efforts that contributed to landmark civil rights legislation, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. In Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP, Yvonne Ryan offers the first biography of this influential activist, as well as an analysis of his significant contributions to civil rights in America. While activists in Alabama were treading the highways between Selma and Montgomery, Wilkins was walking the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., working tirelessly in the background to ensure that the rights they fought for were protected through legislation and court rulings. With his command of congressional procedure and networking expertise, Wilkins was regarded as a strong and trusted presence on Capitol Hill, and received greater access to the Oval Office than any other civil rights leader during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. Roy Wilkins fills a significant gap in the history of the civil rights movement, objectively exploring the career and impact of one of its forgotten leaders. The quiet revolutionary, who spent his life navigating the Washington political system, affirmed the extraordinary and courageous efforts of the many men and women who braved the dangers of the southern streets and challenged injustice to achieve equal rights for all Americans.
This is the long-hidden saga of how a handful of Americans and East Africans fought the British colonial government, the U.S. State Department, and segregation to transport to, or support at, U.S. and Canadian universities, between 1959 and 1963, nearly 800 young East African men and women who would go on to change their world and ours. The students supported included Barack Obama Sr., future father of a U.S. president, Wangari Maathai, future Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as well as the nation-builders of post-colonial East Africa -- cabinet ministers, ambassadors, university chancellors, clinic and school founders. The airlift was conceived by the unusual partnership of the charismatic, later-assassinated Kenyan Tom Mboya and William X. Scheinman, a young American entrepreneur, with supporting roles played by Jackie Robinson, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The airlift even had an impact on the 1960 presidential race, as Vice-President Richard Nixon tried to muscle the State Department into funding the project to prevent Senator Jack Kennedy from using his family foundation to do so and reaping the political benefit. The book is based on the files of the airlift's sponsor, the African American Students Foundation, untouched for almost fifty years.
Presenting a new perspective on the saga of the enslavement of the Jewish people and their departure from Egypt, this study compares the Jewish experience with that of African-American slaves in the United States, as well as the latter group’s subsequent fight for dignity and equality. This consideration dives deeply into the biblical narrative, using classical and modern commentaries to explore the social, psychological, religious, and philosophical dimensions of the slave experience and mentality. It draws on slave narratives, published letters, eyewitness accounts, and recorded interviews with former slaves, together with historical, sociological, economic, and political analyses of this era. The book explores the five major needs of every long-term victim and journeys through these five stages with the Israelite and the African-American slaves on their historical path toward physical and psychological freedom. This rich, multi-dimensional collage of parallel and contrasting experiences is designed to enrich readers’ understanding of the plight of these two groups.
The IBR, published again since 1971 as an interdisciplinary, international bibliography of reviews, offers book reviews of literature dealing primarily with the humanities and social sciences published in 6,000 mainly European scholarly journals. This unique bibliography contains over 1.2 millions book reviews. 60,000 entries are added every year with details on the work reviewed and the review.
The full, little-known story of how President Dwight Eisenhower masterminded the downfall of the anti-Communist demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy is “a gripping, detailed account of how the executive branch subtly but decisively defeated one of America’s most dangerous demagogues” (The Washington Post). They shook hands for the cameras, but Dwight Eisenhower privately abhorred Senator Joseph McCarthy, the powerful Republican senator notorious for his anti-Communist campaign. In spite of a public perception that Eisenhower was unwilling to challenge McCarthy, Ike believed that directly confronting the senator would diminish the presidency. Therefore, the president operated—more discreetly and effectively—with a “hidden hand.” In “a thorough, well-written, and surprising picture of a man who was much more than a ‘do-nothing’ president” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), David A. Nichols shows how the tension between the two men escalated. In a direct challenge to Eisenhower, McCarthy alleged that the US Army was harboring communists and launched an investigation. But the senator had unwittingly signed his own political death warrant. The White House employed surrogates to conduct a clandestine campaign against McCarthy and was not above using information about the private lives of McCarthy’s aides as ammunition. By January 1954 McCarthy was arguably the most powerful member of the Senate. Yet at the end of that year, he had been censured by his colleagues for unbecoming conduct. Eisenhower’s covert operation had discredited the senator months earlier, exploiting the controversy that resulted from the televised Army-McCarthy hearings. McCarthy would never recover his lost prestige. In Ike and McCarthy, Nichols uses documents previously unavailable or overlooked to authenticate the extraordinary story of Eisenhower’s anti-McCarthy campaign. The result is “a well-researched and sturdily written account of what may be the most important such conflict in modern history….Americans have as much to learn today from Eisenhower as his many liberal critics did in 1954” (The Atlantic Monthly).
Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.
A noted reporter’s recollections
Sechs junge amerikanische Soldaten werden in einem Krisengebiet in Afrika zurück-gelassen. Nach der versehentlichen Tötung eines Kindes gerät die Mission zu einem Kampf ums Überleben.
For almost forty years, the verdict on Lyndon Johnson's presidency has been reduced to a handful of harsh words: tragedy, betrayal, lost opportunity. Initially, historians focused on the Vietnam War and how that conflict derailed liberalism, tarnished the nation's reputation, wasted lives, and eventually even led to Watergate. More recently, Johnson has been excoriated in more personal terms: as a player of political hardball, as the product of machine-style corruption, as an opportunist, as a cruel husband and boss. In LBJ, Randall B. Woods, a distinguished historian of twentieth-century America and a son of Texas, offers a wholesale reappraisal and sweeping, authoritative account of the LBJ who has been lost under this baleful gaze. Woods understands the political landscape of the American South and the differences between personal failings and political principles. Thanks to the release of thousands of hours of LBJ's White House tapes, along with the declassification of tens of thousands of documents and interviews with key aides, Woods's LBJ brings crucial new evidence to bear on many key aspects of the man and the politician. As private conversations reveal, Johnson intentionally exaggerated his stereotype in many interviews, for reasons of both tactics and contempt. It is time to set the record straight. Woods's Johnson is a flawed but deeply sympathetic character. He was born into a family with a liberal Texas tradition of public service and a strong belief in the public good. He worked tirelessly, but not just for the sake of ambition. His approach to reform at home, and to fighting fascism and communism abroad, was motivated by the same ideals and based on a liberal Christian tradition that is often forgotten today. Vietnam turned into a tragedy, but it was part and parcel of Johnson's commitment to civil rights and antipoverty reforms. LBJ offers a fascinating new history of the political upheavals of the 1960s and a new way to understand the last great burst of liberalism in America. Johnson was a magnetic character, and his life was filled with fascinating stories and scenes. Through insights gained from interviews with his longtime secretary, his Secret Service detail, and his closest aides and confidants, Woods brings Johnson before us in vivid and unforgettable color.
This master politician and self-made man served for half a century, as congressman and later as key New Deal senator from his native South Carolina; as Supreme Court justice; as "assistant president" during the Second World War; as Truman's secretary of state in the early years of the Cold War; and, finally, as governor of South Carolina. He came tantalisingly close to the American presidency and was a key participant in the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. In later years he was a seminal figure in the so-called Southern Strategy that brought Richard Nixon to the White House. For his shrewdness and mastery of the art of politics Byrnes earned the sobriquet "sly and able." He was surely both--and one of the key shapers of American politics in this century.