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Identity, Social Justice, and the Polity: Family Values and the Neoliberal Turn

In the 1960s President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty promised an array of federal programs to assist millions of American families. In the 1980s President Ronald Reagan declared Republicans the party of traditional family values and promised to keep the federal government out of American lives. Again and again historians have sought to explain the nation's profound political realignment from the 1960s to the 2000s, four decades that witnessed the fracturing of liberalism and the rise of the conservative right. Robert O. Self's All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s is the first synthetic treatment to recognize that the many separate threads of that realignment—from civil rights to women’s rights, from the antiwar movement to the “silent majority,” from the abortion wars to gay marriage, from health care to welfare reform—all ran through the politicized modern American family.

Robert O. Self is an associate professor of history at Brown University. His first book, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland, won numerous awards, including the James A. Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

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