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Download Age of Fracture by Daniel T. Rodgers PDF

By Daniel T. Rodgers

Within the final area of the 20 th century, the information that the majority americans lived by way of began to fragment. Mid-century options of nationwide consensus, controlled markets, gender and racial identities, citizen legal responsibility, and historic reminiscence grew to become extra fluid. versatile markets brushed aside Keynesian macroeconomic constructions. Racial and gender unity divided into a number of identities; group 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 many years surrounding the Eighties replaced the United States. via a contagion of visions and metaphors, on either the highbrow correct and the highbrow left, past notions of historical past and society that under pressure solidity, collective associations, and social conditions gave technique to a extra individualized human nature that emphasised selection, company, functionality, and hope. On a extensive canvas that comes with 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 marketplace selection and fluid selves. slicing around the social and political arenas of late-twentieth-century lifestyles and idea, from fiscal thought and the tradition wars to disputes over poverty, color-blindness, and sisterhood, Rodgers finds how our different types of social fact were fractured and destabilized. As we survey the highbrow wreckage of this battle of principles, we greater comprehend the emergence of our current age of uncertainty. (20101201)

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Nowhere had the line between the rituals of church and state been more blurred in the post-1945 years than in the way in which presidential speech making capitalized on the forms of Protestant preaching. The resemblance ran much deeper than the references to God sprinkled heavily throughout presidential speeches or the benedictory forms with which they closed. Adaptation of sermonic authority and sermonic cadence was integral to the high presidential style. The people gathered together—preacher and congregation—to hear their civic creed reaffirmed, their mandate of leadership accepted, and their duties made clear.

They grasped for rhetorical continuity with a more eager hand than had any presidential speechwriters before them. Reagan’s post-1980 addresses were virtually an American Bartlett’s of preused materials, quoted or tacitly cannibalized from Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, Lincoln, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and, not infrequently, his defeated antagonist Jimmy Carter. Kennedy’s exhortation that we sail “with the tides of human freedom in our favor” was recycled by Reagan’s speechwriters in a dozen different variations.

17 At the Democratic party convention in 1976, Walter Mondale had turned to Carl Sandburg’s words for inspiration: “I see America not in the setting sun of a black night of despair . . 18 With the right occasion and the right speechwriter, the tropes that had dominated the mid-twentieth-century presidency would be reinvigorated, propelled by Reagan’s exceptional ability to project his own inner confidence and conviction across the television screen. ”19 But those occasions grew rapidly fewer. Already in his years in the California governorship, a less hectoring tone had begun to shape some of his speeches, with more talk of dreams and possibilities.

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