In recent years, the study of American political history has experienced a remarkable renaissance. After decades during which the subject fell out of fashion and disappeared from public view, it has returned to prominence as the study of American history has shifted its focus back to politics broadly defined. In this book, one of the leaders of the resurgence in American political history, Julian Zelizer, assesses its revival and demonstrates how this work not only illuminates the past but also helps us better understand American politics today.
Governing America addresses issues of wide interest, including the rise of the welfare state, the development of modern conservatism, the history of Congress, the struggle over campaign finance, changing views about presidential power, and national security. Throughout, it addresses four big questions: How have interpretations of American political history changed over time? How have taxes and budgets constrained policymakers? How have changes in the political process defined historical eras? And how have policy and politics interacted on decisions like going to war?
Zelizer's answers to these questions are fresh and often surprising, providing compelling new perspectives on modern American politics.