The Crosswinds of Freedom: The American Experiment Vol.3

James MacGregor Burns, Author Knopf Publishing Group $35 (864p) ISBN 978-0-394-51276-1
Immensely readable, epic in scope yet intimately personal in detail, this sweeping 864-page history of the United States extends from FDR's nomination to the presidency in 1932 to the election of George Bush. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Burns sees the U.S. as a nation of hazy, undefined ends and shaky, pluralistic means. He admires Roosevelt but criticizes the New Deal because it ``failed to fashion an effective economic strategy and stick with it.'' With 1950s' affluence, he notes, came widespread escapism, intertwining of government and the press, McCarthyism, conformity, compartmentalized work. Burns portrays JFK and LBJ as men who ultimately failed to respond to the cries for freedom emanating from the Third World. He is brief and equivocal on Reagan's rightist counterrevolution, though he recognizes Reagan's mandate to throw liberal elements out of the Republican Party and consolidate conservative power. Chapters broadly delineate the civil rights, feminist and student movements, Vietnam, cultural and technological ferment. This is the final volume of Burns's trilogy which includes The Vineyard of Liberty and The Workshop of Democracy. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 864 pages - 978-0-679-72819-1
Ebook - 870 pages - 978-1-4532-4520-0
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