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More Equal than Others

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More Equal than Others

America from Nixon to the New Century

Princeton UP,

15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

U.S. politics are more stratified the rich are more powerful and society is less equal? Why? The rise of conservatism.

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Editorial Rating



  • Controversial
  • Eye Opening


British journalist and historian Godfrey Hodgson dissects the rise of conservatism in the U.S. during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Hodgson is an unapologetic liberal, and though he’s ultimately optimistic about America, he finds much to lament in this period. Even die-hard conservatives might be given pause by his warnings about growing social stratification and inequality. Hodgson’s greatest contribution to the political discussion may be his examination of this time period from so many angles, exposing myths and misconceptions about each facet of society, especially the much-ballyhooed prosperity of the ’90s. The book is plagued by inadequate fact-checking on minor issues, however, which could call his larger points into question, despite 43 pages of end notes and an extensive bibliography. Despite these flaws, finds this thoughtful study useful for anyone trying to understand American politics and future trends.


"Disappointment and Denial"

The last quarter of the twentieth century in the United States saw the end of the liberal consensus forged during the Great Depression and the New Deal, and the rise of a conservative, anti-government consensus. Yet, never before has American society so needed the power of democratic government to address challenges at home and abroad. The past 30 years were a time of disappointment and denial for many Americans. Inequality grew sharply, perhaps as a deliberate result of conservative policies. Rigid class divisions are re-emerging although Americans pride themselves on having discarded such divisions long ago.

"State of the Union"

From 1975 to 2000, the American mood went from hesitant and morose to triumphant and triumphalist. The nation embraced free-market capitalism as essential to the American system and its future as a democracy, rejecting New Deal inclusiveness in favor of bracing but harsh conservatism. Two changes shaped the country over recent years: restoration of the nation's confidence and replacement of a liberal consensus with a conservative one. It became generally accepted that markets were more democratic...

About the Author

An associate fellow at The Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University, Godfrey Hodgson has written six books, including a biography of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and America In Our Time.

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