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Can American Government Be Good Again?

In “The Gifted Generation: When Government Was Good” (Bloomsbury/2017), historian David Goldfield examines the baby boomer generation and argues that more than anything, the opportunities provided to them by the federal government created the conditions for unprecedented confidence and success. 

Public policies of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s created an American society that was more inclusive and more level thanks to forward-looking legislation on higher education, research, housing, the environment and employment. Beginning in the 1970s, Goldfield argues that presidents ceased to act in the interest of all citizens and instead began to exploit divides and promote exclusive benefits.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Goldfield, professor of history at UNC-Charlotte, about his book and his opinion on whether American government could be “good” again.

David Goldfield speaks at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16.

Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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