By Daniel T. Rodgers
Within the final area of the 20 th century, the information that almost all american citizens lived via began to fragment. Mid-century options of nationwide consensus, controlled markets, gender and racial identities, citizen legal responsibility, and historic reminiscence turned extra fluid. versatile markets brushed aside Keynesian macroeconomic buildings. Racial and gender team spirit divided into a number of identities; group accountability shrank to smaller circles. during this wide-ranging narrative, Daniel Rodgers exhibits how the collective reasons and meanings that had framed social debate turned unhinged and unsure. Age of Fracture bargains a strong reinterpretation of the ways that the many years surrounding the Eighties replaced the USA. via a contagion of visions and metaphors, on either the highbrow correct and the highbrow left, prior notions of heritage and society that under pressure solidity, collective associations, and social conditions gave strategy to a extra individualized human nature that emphasised selection, supplier, functionality, and wish. On a wide canvas that comes with Michel Foucault, Ronald Reagan, Judith Butler, Charles Murray, Jeffrey Sachs, and plenty of extra, Rodgers explains how buildings of energy got here to appear less significant than marketplace selection and fluid selves. slicing around the social and political arenas of late-twentieth-century existence and suggestion, from fiscal conception and the tradition wars to disputes over poverty, color-blindness, and sisterhood, Rodgers unearths how our different types of social truth were fractured and destabilized. As we survey the highbrow wreckage of this conflict of principles, we greater comprehend the emergence of our current age of uncertainty. (20101201)
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Within the final region of the 20th century, the information that almost all americans lived through began to fragment. Mid-century recommendations of nationwide consensus, controlled markets, gender and racial identities, citizen legal responsibility, and old reminiscence grew to become extra fluid. versatile markets dismissed Keynesian macroeconomic constructions.
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Additional info for Age of Fracture
Only in conditions of economic stability and relatively full employment, Samuelson advised generations of undergraduates, did the supply-and-demand equilibria work in their textbook simplicity. In times of “substantial unemployment” economics entered a “topsy-turvy wonderland” where the commonsense rules of economic relations ran backward or failed to run at all. Even in ordinary economic times, students needed to understand the “fallacy of composition”—to realize that the laws of aggregate, social economic behavior were often distinctly different from individually modeled economic action.
The point is true literally as well as ﬁguratively. Reagan’s speechwriters were the ﬁrst to exploit to the full the possibilities of removing the president from the center of the camera’s eye. Toward the end of his First Inaugural address, Reagan turned from the guiding principles of his foreign policy, through a short paragraph telegraphing his support for school prayer, suddenly to the view of the city from the West Front of the Capitol. The metamorphosis from president to tour guide proceeded without a hiccup: “Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man, George Washington.
Introduced by the presidential program host, the constituent atoms of the people stood up, for their moment in the camera’s eye, one by one. Reagan asked viewers, not to imitate them or to rise to the challenge they set, but only to applaud them, to believe that their acts were possible. “We the people,” as a collective entity, tacitly disaggregated under the touch. Acting the Cold War part was a different matter, of course, from speaking its lines. Reagan was a more cautious Cold Warrior than his pre–Vietnam War predecessors had been.
Age of Fracture by Daniel T. Rodgers