Chapter Seven: America Since 1945
William H. Chafe

The thesis of this work is to explore the relationship among social, political, and cultural history from 1945 through the 1980’s. In order to do so, the author divides the period into three categories. The first is the period immediately following World War II until the early 1950’s. The second being the civil rights era and its aftermath. Finally, the 1970’s and 1980’s focusing on the rise of conservatism. Chafe refers to the works of many other historians in order to develop his arguments. For example, he uses Writter to discuss the effects of the Cold War on foreign policy and William Leuchtenburg shows how the availability and ability to buy more “material comforts” increased after World War II. Additionally, Chafe uses The Emerging Republican Majority by Kevin Phillips in order to discuss the rise of Conservatism in particular areas of the United States. This allowed Chafe to show how this affected social and economic attitudes during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Overall, Chafe uses a variety of secondary sources to explore how the growing industries as well as political conflicts and shifts in power (such as presidencies and congress) contributed to the changing society since 1945.