In recent years, the study of American political history has experienced a remarkable renaissance. After decades during which the subject fell out of fashion and disappeared from public view, it has returned to prominence as the study of American history has shifted its focus back to politics broadly defined. In this book, one of the leaders of the resurgence in American political history, Julian Zelizer, assesses its revival and demonstrates how this work not only illuminates the past but also helps us better understand American politics today.
Governing America addresses issues of wide interest, including the rise of the welfare state, the development of modern conservatism, the history of Congress, the struggle over campaign finance, changing views about presidential power, and national security. Throughout, it addresses four big questions: How have interpretations of American political history changed over time? How have taxes and budgets constrained policymakers? How have changes in the political process defined historical eras? And how have policy and politics interacted on decisions like going to war?
Zelizer's answers to these questions are fresh and often surprising, providing compelling new perspectives on modern American politics.
Julian E. Zelizer is professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. His most recent books include Jimmy Carter, Arsenal of Democracy, and The Presidency of George W. Bush (Princeton). He is a regular contributor to CNN.com and Politico and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other publications.
"This exhilarating volume deserves a broad readership. It is first and foremost invaluable to graduate students and historians exploring new approaches to American political history. Secondly, it reveals to political scientists the worth of political history, beyond furnishing the raw data for political analysis. Thirdly, it suggests ways in which public historians and policymakers might collaborate in policymaking. Finally, the essays are accessible enough to appeal to the general reader interested in the historical development of modern American politics. Above all, Zelizer's work exemplifies and validates historians' rediscovery of the importance of American politics, albeit more broadly defined than before, as well as vindicates political scientists' recent and continued interest in American history."--Eleanor Thompson, LSE Politics and Policy blog
"Governing America: The Revival of Political History is an important instrument to any person hoping to gain a better understanding of the revaluation of political history and the negotiation of the current political landscape of the United States. Both the lay reader and a student of political history would benefit by adding Zelizer's latest to his or her collection."--Chris Dawe, Journal of American Studies of Turkey
"Zelizer's essays give the reader a good grasp of the ways that politics has unfolded over the past half century. And the range of topics gives a good sense of where the field lies at this point. The scholarship is impeccable, the sources appropriate, and the tone scholarly without being pedantic. As this collection of Zelizer's finest work indicates, the discipline of history still has room for political history."--John H. Barnhill, Canadian Journal of History
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Julian E. Zelizer: