1945 to the Present

An introduction by William H. Chafe

No event proved more important to the course of modern American history than World War II. The war cast America onto the world stage as a mighty economic and military giant. It rescued the country from the Great Depression, created full employment, and for the first time in a generation increased real income for American workers. Moreover, the poorest 40 percent of the population saw its share of the national income grow, while the top 5 percent witnessed a decline. Technology boomed, and the computer age began. African Americans and women experienced more dramatic change than they had in decades. And the contours of postwar diplomacy took shape in response to issues dividing the Western Allies on the one hand from the Soviet Union on the other. Although the war lasted only four years for the United States, its impact endured for generations.More »

Sub Eras

Postwar Politics and the Origins of the Cold War

With an introduction by Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Global Leadership, University of Texas at AustinMore »

The Fifties

With an introduction by Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of American History, Columbia UniversityMore »

The Civil Rights Movement

With an introduction by Taylor Branch, author of the America in the King Years trilogyMore »

The Sixties

With an introduction by Harvard Sitkoff, Professor of History Emeritus, University of New HampshireMore »

The Seventies

With an introduction by Judith Stein, Professor of History, City College and The Graduate Center, City University of New YorkMore »

The Age of Reagan

With an introduction by Gil Troy, Professor of History, McGill UniversityMore »

Facing the New Millennium

With an introduction by Michael Flamm, Professor of History, Ohio Wesleyan UniversityMore »