Nineteen-sixty eight was the pivotal year of the postwar era. Before 1968, American power in the world was confidently deployed and greatly respected, if not admired. After 1968, America started down the long slope of self-inflicted decadence which even Ronald Reagan’s rhetoric was unable to reverse. Before 1968, Americans, with few exceptions, saw their country moving forward on a broad avenue of social and economic progress toward general affluence and equal opportunity. After 1968, Americans of the political elite began believing in group rights and equality of result. More important, before 1968 Americans believed in containing the Soviet Union and its allies—the forces known by the now-quaint term “world Communism. ”So seriously did they take this struggle that, for example, they built fallout shelters and maintained a system of air defense of the continental United States. After 1968, Americans in significant numbers came...


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