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A History of Our Time

Readings on Postwar America

Eighth Edition

Edited by William H. Chafe, Harvard Sitkoff, and Beth Bailey

Publication Date - November 2011

ISBN: 9780199763641

448 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $104.99

This popular and comprehensive anthology presents cogent, provocative sources from differing perspectives on major issues in postwar America


A History of Our Time, Eighth Edition, offers selections by leading historians as well as first-person accounts of various issues by people who have contributed to the shaping of America's rich history, including Bill Clinton, Joseph McCarthy, Anne Moody, Robin Morgan, and Phyllis Schlafly. Providing a balance of diverse political viewpoints, the documents include the voices of men and women of African American, European American, Asian American, and Latino/a descent. Taking into consideration events of the last four years--including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden--the eighth edition of A History of Our Time offers a clearer, more encompassing view of the United States' collective history.

New to this Edition

  • A new section (Part 5) on rebellion and counterculture
  • Several new selections, including excerpts from Jeremy Varon, David Farber, and President Barack Obama
  • An updated essay on the U.S. and the world in the post-Cold War era that extends through the death of Osama Bin Laden (Part 9)
  • Revised charts and tables with the most recent census data
  • Three new primary sources that move beyond customary written texts (Parts 4, 5, and 10)

About the Author(s)

William H. Chafe is Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History, former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Vice-Provost of Undergraduate Education at Duke University.

Harvard Sitkoff is Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire.

Beth Bailey is Professor of History at Temple University.

Previous Publication Date(s)

April 2007
December 2002
January 1999

Table of Contents


    Part : America Becomes A World Power

    Robert McMahon, World War II and the Destruction of the Old Order
    George F. Kennan, The Necessity for Containment (1946)
    HUAC Investigates Hollywood (1947)
    Joseph R. McCarthy, The Internal Communist Menace (1950)
    John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, The Verona Project and Atomic Espionage
    Editors of Good Housekeeping, A Frightening Message for a Thanksgiving Issue (1958)
    Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Eisenhower's Farewell Address (1961)
    John F. Kennedy, The Cuban Missile Crisis: President Kennedy's Address to the Nation (1962)

    Part 2: The Politics and Culture of the Affluent Society

    Thomas Hine, The Luckiest Generation
    Roland Marchand, Trends in Postwar American Culture and Society
    The Myers Move to Levittown
    Students for a Democratic Society, The Port Huron Statement (1962)
    Young Americans for Freedom, The Sharon Statement (1960)
    John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address (1961)
    Lyndon B. Johnson, "The Great Society": Remarks at the University of Michigan (1964)
    Bruce J. Schulman, Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism

    Part 3: Civil Rights and Racial Justice

    Supreme Court of the United States, Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
    Declaration of Constitutional Principals: The Southern Manifesto
    Anne Moody, A Lunch-Counter Sit In in Jackson, Mississippi (1968)
    Harvard Sitkoff, We Shall Overcome (1965)
    Black Panther Party, What We Want, What We Believe (1966)
    F. Arturo Rosales, Chicano!
    Indians of all Tribes, Proclamation (1969)

    Part 4: The Vietnam War

    Lyndon B. Johnson, Peace without Conquest (1965)
    Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, We Were Soldiers once...and Young
    Students for a Democratic Society, March on Washington: The War Must Be Stopped
    John Kerry, Vietnam Veterans against the War (1971)
    Who Fought the War
    William Clinton, Letter to the Draftboard (1969)
    Robert McNamara- In Retrospect
    Michael Lind, The Genuine Lessons of the Vietnam War

    Part 5: Rebellion and Counterculture

    The Diggers, Trip without a Ticket (1968)
    Karin Ashley et al., You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows (1969)
    Jeremy Varon, Revolutionary Violence in the United States and West Germany
    Arthur Kopecky, Journals from a Taos Commune (1971)
    David Farber, The Intoxicated State/Illegal Nation

    Part 6: Struggles over Gender and Sexual Liberation

    Jane Sherron De Hart, The Creation of a Feminist Consciousness
    National Organization for Women, Statement of Pupose (1966)
    Robin Morgan and New York Radical Women, No More Miss America
    Enriqueta Longeaux Vasquez, ¡Soy Chicana Primero! (1971)
    Phyllis Schlafly, What's Wrong with "Equal Rights" for Women? (1972)
    Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Roe v Wade (1973)
    Martha Shelley, Gay Is Good (1970)
    Beth Bailey, Sexual Revolutions(s)

    Part 7: Age of Uncertainty

    Peter Schrag, The Forgotten American (1969)
    Kim McQuaid, Watergate
    David Farber, Taken Hostage
    Jimmy Carter, The "Crisis of Confidence" Speech: President Carter's Address to the Nation (1979)
    Misery Index

    Part 8: A New Era of Conservatism

    Dan Carter, The Politics of Anger 1963-1968
    Lisa McGirr, Piety and Property: Conservatism and Right-Wing Movements in the Twentieth Century
    E.J. Dionne, Jr., The Religious Right and the New Republican Party
    William C. Berman, America's Right Turn
    Ronald W. Reagan, "The Second American Revolution": President Reagan's State of the Union Address (1985)
    Newt Gingrich, The Republican Contract with America (1994)

    Part 9: The United States and the World in the Post-Cold War Era

    George C. Herring, From the Persian Gulf War to Iraq and Afghanistan: Confronting the Post-Cold War World
    Peter Coates and Vincent Vok, 9/11
    George W. Bush, "Axis of Evil" Speech: President Bush's State of the Union Address (2002)
    Pew Global Attitudes Project, Image of the United States (2005)
    Daniel H. Pink, "Why the World is Flat": Interview with Thomas Friedman
    Global Exchange, Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the World Trade Organization

    Part 10: The Changing Shape of American Society

    Barack Obama, A More Perfect Union (2008)
    Glenn Beck, 9 Principles, 12 Values
    J.R. McNeill, Our Gigantic Experiment with Planet Earth
    United States Census Bureau- The New Immigration
    Stephanie Coontz, Great Expectations (2004)
    The American People in the Early Twenty-first Century

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