Years of Discord: American Politics and Society, 1961-1974

John Morton Blum, Author W. W. Norton & Company $25 (530p) ISBN 978-0-393-02969-7
Blum takes a close look at the turbulent era that began with the inauguration of John Kennedy and ended with the Watergate scandal and the resignation of Richard Nixon. Describing the extent to which JFK's initiatives came to fruition under Lyndon Johnson, he shows how the explosive conflicts of the 1960s yielded important social improvements. Aside from a gentle, nonjudgmental approach, the most impressive feature of Blum's study is his emphasis on the influence of the ``youth movement'' on domestic and international issues, particularly in its opposition to the Vietnam war. The book presents the Watergate scandal and its resolution as a kind of climax to 15 years of social and political discord, nuclear confrontation and the Vietnam tragedy. According to Blum, the New Frontier and the Great Society failed to address the endemic nature of poverty. After Nixon's resignation there was ``a return to private affluence and public squalor,'' and the nation showed signs of reverting to a condition not unlike that of 1960. Blum is emeritus professor of history at Yale. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-393-30910-2
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