Constant Conflict: Politics, Culture, and the Struggle for America's Future

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Westview Press, Feb 6, 2004 - Social Science - 362 pages
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America's culture war - which pits traditionalists, unrelenting defenders of the social orthodoxy, against modernists, agitators for social change - has simmered and seethed since the birth of the nation. But in the turbulent decade of the 1960s, the culture war erupted in the political arena, where it thunders on today. Constant Conflict examines how the evolution of cultural issues as political tools has rocked the balance of political power in America, and continues to do so. Through an expansive coverage of events - from Vietnam, Nixon, discrimination, abortion, economic imbalance, and morality in political behavior - Washington journalist Robert Shogan provides an objective and informed look at how Americans feel about themselves and their country in the first decade of the new millennium. Updates to the paperback show how the culture war has reached new heights in the Bush presidency, with the emphasis on Godliness and the divisiveness against the Axis of Evil. Shogan also discusses how the cultural conflicts will impact the 2004 campaign.

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War without end: cultural conflict and the struggle for America's political future

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Whether the future of American politics will continue to reflect the struggle between liberal, secular humanism and conservative, religious fundamentalism remains to be seen, but this book attempts to ... Read full review


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Page 88 - The goal of man and society should be human independence: a concern not with image or popularity but with finding a meaning in life that is personally authentic; a quality of mind not compulsively driven by a sense of powerlessness, nor one which unthinkingly adopts status values, nor one which represses all threats to its habits, but one which has full, spontaneous access...
Page 283 - I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.
Page 176 - For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.
Page 102 - With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office— the Presidency of your country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
Page 137 - You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We can preserve for our children this the last best hope of man on earth or we can sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children, say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
Page 88 - I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix...
Page 147 - You see these bums, you know, blowing up the campuses. Listen, the boys that are on the college campuses today are the luckiest people in the world, going to the greatest universities, and here they are burning up the books, I mean storming around about this issue— I mean you name it— get rid of the war; there will be another one.
Page 77 - Yes. It is a nation of alienated young people. We carry it around with us as a state of mind in the same way as the Sioux Indians carried the Sioux nation around with them. It is a nation dedicated to cooperation versus competition, to the idea that people should have better means of exchange than property or money, that there should be some other basis for human interaction.
Page 324 - We Americans have faith in ourselves, but not in ourselves alone. We do not know — we do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.

About the author (2004)

Robert Shogan has spent more than thirty years covering the political scene in Washington as national political correspondent for Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Government at the Center for Study of American Government of Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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