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Race and the Making of American Liberalism$
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Carol A. Horton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143485.001.0001

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The Broken Promise of Liberal Revolution

The Broken Promise of Liberal Revolution

(p.167) 7 The Broken Promise of Liberal Revolution
Race and the Making of American Liberalism

Carol A. Horton

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the meteoric rise and fall of social liberalism in the United States during the mid- to late 1960s. In 1964, movement activists and their allies optimistically believed that they could form a new coalition of minorities, labor unionists, left-of-center liberals, and low-income voters that would have the political muscle to move the Democratic Party substantially to the left in order to pursue the ambitious agenda of eliminating both poverty and racial injustice. By 1968, however, these hopes had been crushed. As the social and political turmoil growing out of racial politics and the Vietnam War engulfed the nation, a growing conservative “backlash” gained momentum. Although the election of President Richard Nixon in that year did not inaugurate the sort of extreme reactionary regime that some hoped for and others feared, it was widely taken to mark the beginning of a new, more conservative era.

Keywords:   United States, social liberalism, racial politics, Richard Nixon, poverty, racial injustice, Democratic Party

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