RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY by Leland D. Baldwin

RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While this would seem to be a continuation of the two volume STREAM OF AMERICAN HISTORY (1952), actually it is more a reexamination of the factors at work in the decades within contemporary memory, and overlaps- in time -- the last years covered in the earlier work. Perhaps one could define it as being an analysis of the revolution of our times. Starting with an exploration of the meaning of democracy, in all its facets, the author goes on to analyze the two steps forward- one step back processes that have characterized our history. He does not attempt a critical analysis, in the sense of drawing conclusions and pointing morals, but he shows how circumstances have forced us into meeting the world, how isolationist tendencies have tried to pull us back, how our unreal relations with Latin America, with the Far East have operated to postpone taking our due place, even while business reaches out. After laying the groundwork for social and economic changes, he comes up to Franklin D. Roosevelt and World War II- the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Political fronts, and the aftermath of Big Labor, Big Agriculture, Big Government- under capitalism in transition, with the ""little man"" the victim. Regionalism, minorities, and the great question of the American mission, occupy his final chapters, and he views- in its due place- the Soviet enigma, the dilemmas of power, the aspects of the cold war and the steps towards alliance in Europe. Once more- and perhaps more profoundly, his chief contribution lies in the field of scholars and students, as an application of the methods of social science to modern history. Readable -- despite its somewhat forbiddingly textbook aspects.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1954
Publisher: Richard R. Smith