Brooks, Victor D. Boomers: The Cold War Generation Grows Up. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2009. Chronicles the peaceful children’s “invasion” of America that occurred from Dr. Spock to Woodstock.
Bunch, Will. Tear Down this Myth: The Right Wing Distortion of the Reagan Legacy. New York: The Free Press, 2009. Unravels the story of how a conservative group took control of the legacy of Reagan and turned him into an icon to revive their ideology.
Critchlow, Donald. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007. Describes how conservative beliefs were translated from think tank theorists to grassroots mobilizers, and how they gained control of the Republican party.
Draper, Theodore. A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs. New York: Hill and Wang, 1991. This is a strange tale of sheer incompetence and conspiratorial malfeasance that affords insights into how the government actually works—and for whom.
Edsall, Thomas and Mary Edsall. Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Politics, and Taxes on American Politics. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992. The authors examine how racial tensions, economic frustrations, and posturing by politicians shattered the liberal consensus in post-1945 America.
Kleinknecht, William. The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America. New York: Nation Books, 2009. Kleinknecht explores Middle America and shows how Reaganism put the poor and working class back on the margins of everything except the basest popular culture.
McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001. The rise of the Sunbelt and politics in southern California, the author argues, produced a new kind of American conservatism during the 1950s and 1960s.
Mickelthwait, John and Adrian Wooldridge. Right Nation: Conservative Power in America. New York: Penguin Books, 2004. The authors examine how the religious, economic, intellectual, and political strains of conservatism merged into a powerful force in American society.
Oberdorfer, Don. From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1893–1991. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. This well-sourced account by an accomplished journalist traces the ups and downs of the Cold War during the Reagan-Bush era.
Sandbrook, Dominic. Mad As Hell: the Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right. New York: Knopf, 2011. A richly compelling picture of the turbulent age in which our modern-day populist politics was born.
Schulman, Bruce. The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics. New York: The Free Press, 2001. A reinterpretation of the “me decade” that examines the crisis of liberalism and the events that made conservative ideas appear so attractive.
Wilentz, Sean. The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974–2008. New York: Harper, 2008. Partly a biography and partly a policy study, Wilentz traces the sources of Reagan’s ideas and their impact on America in the two decades after his presidency.
Published by Oxford University Press
Belsky, Martin H.
Critchlow, Donald T., Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Government in Modern America. Chronicles how the government’s involvement in contraception and abortion evolved into one of the most bitter, partisan controversies in American political history.
Patterson, James T. Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore. 2004. Patterson illuminates the road that the United States has traveled from the dismal days of the mid-1970s through the hotly contested election of 2000.
Schaller, Michael. Right Turn: American Life in the Reagan-Bush Era. 2007. Schaller describes Republican national politics, the climax of the Cold War, and the diverse impact of the time’s economic, legal, social, and cultural developments.
Schaller, Michael. Ronald Reagan. 2011. An acclaimed historian of the political right, Schaller offers a brief and poignant account of Ronald Reagan’s life and achievements, from his small-town upbringing in rural Illinois to his eight years in the White House.
Jimmy Carter. The companion site to the PBS documentary contains biographies, movies, and documents.
Three Mile Island Emergency. A virtual museum that explores the nuclear crisis in its political, scientific, technological, and industrial setting.
The History of AIDS. This web site offers the science of AIDS and the challenges of its treatment, its history in the world since the 1970s, a timeline, and further resources.