KC Johnson

The Collapse of the New Deal Coalition

Perlstein, Nixonland, Book Two

Study questions will be posted the day before class.

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  1. Kendra Edwards said, on April 6, 2009 at 8.35pm

    1. According to Perlstein, by 1967, the Vietnam War had “ended America’s consensus”. With the country divided by partisanship for much of its history, was there ever an American consensus? Is so, what what was this consensus?

    2. Was LBJ “locked in” to Vietnam or was he a “flip flopper” on foreign policy?

    3. How did the Vietnam War divide the Democratic party by 1968?

    4. How did the events of August 28, 1968 further divide the Democratic party?

    5. How did Nixon use his history of losing elections to his advantage?
    (b) Why was this strategy particularly effective in 1968?

    6. How was Nixon’s campaign strategy of releasing controlled images much like Johnson’s failed public relations strategy in regard to Vietnam? Was Nixon just maintaining the status quo?

    7. How did the actions of the National Guardsmen and police in Newark during the Summer of Love mirror the actions and polices of the United States government toward Vietnam from 1966 through 1967?
    (b) Given these similarities why did the response from the American public differ so greatly in these instances?

    8. Was the War on Poverty to blame for the outbreak of riots in American cities in 1968?

    9. Does Nixon’s win in 1968 suggest that the American populace favored illusions or progress instead of actually coming to grips reality with regard to the state of domestic affairs within the country?

    10. How did Nixon use the idea of a nation lacking “law and order” to his advantage?

    11. Did LBJ create divisions within the nation or was he a victim of the nations’ divisions?

    12. How did Nixon use the idea of “silent majority” to win votes in the South?


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