A landmark history of postwar America and the second volume in the Penguin History of the United States series, edited by Eric Foner
In this momentous work, acclaimed labor historian Joshua B. Freeman presents an epic portrait of the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century, revealing a nation galvanized by change even as conflict seethed within its borders. Beginning in 1945, he charts the astounding rise of the labor movement and its pitched struggle with the bastions of American capitalism in the 1940s and ’50s, untangling the complicated threads between the workers’ agenda and that of the civil rights and women’s movements. Through the lens of civil rights, the Cold War struggle, and the labor movement, American Empire teaches us something profound about our past while illuminating the issues that continue to animate American political discourse today.
About American Empire
A compelling look at the movements and developments that propelled America to world dominance
In this landmark work, acclaimed historian Joshua Freeman has created an epic portrait of a nation both galvanized by change and driven by conflict. Beginning in 1945, the economic juggernaut awakened by World War II transformed a country once defined by its regional character into a uniform and cohesive power and set the stage for the United States’ rise to global dominance. Meanwhile, Freeman locates the profound tragedy that has shaped the path of American civic life, unfolding how the civil rights and labor movements worked for decades to enlarge the rights of millions of Americans, only to watch power ultimately slip from individual citizens to private corporations. Moving through McCarthyism and Vietnam, from the Great Society to Morning in America, Joshua Freeman’s sweeping story of a nation’s rise reveals forces at play that will continue to affect the future role of American influence and might in the greater world.