The Age of Clinton (Hardcover)
America in the 1990s
Thomas Dunne Books, 9781250063724, 384pp.
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
The 1990s was a decade of extreme change. Shifts in culture, politics, and technology radically altered the way Americans did business, expressed themselves, and thought about their role in the world. At the center of it all was Bill Clinton, the charismatic and flawed baby boomer president, along with his polarizing but increasingly popular wife, Hillary.
Although it was in many ways a Democratic Gilded Age, the 1990s was also a time of great anxiety. The Cold War was over. America was stable and prosperous. Yet Americans felt more unmoored and isolated. This was the era of glitz and grunge, when we relished living in the Republic of Everything even as we feared it might degenerate into the Republic of Nothing. Bill Clinton dominated this era, but his complex legacy has yet to be clearly defined.
Historian Gil Troy examines Clinton's presidency alongside the decade's cultural changes. Taking the '90s year-by-year, Troy shows how the culture of the day shaped the Clintons even as the Clintons shaped it, offering answers to two enduring questions about Bill Clinton's legacy: How did such a talented politician leave Americans thinking he accomplished so little when he actually accomplished so much? And, to what extent was Clinton responsible for the catastrophes of the following decade, specifically 9/11 and the collapse of the housing market?
Even more relevant as we head toward the 2016 election, The Age of Clinton will appeal to readers on both sides of the aisle as it chronicles the wild, transformative decade and the president at its center.
About the Author
Praise For The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s…
"A fun romp through the decade and an intelligent way of understanding the cultural context and legacy of Bill Clinton’s era." -Associated Press
“With the 1990s passing from memory into history, Gil Troy, one of our leading political historians, is here to help us make sense of it. He not only takes us through the highs and lows of Bill Clinton's underappreciated presidency but sets its political events within the context of the cultural and technological developments that were transforming the country. In Troy's eminently readable narrative, filled with revealing nuggets of information, Clinton emerges, for all his foibles, as the rare president who grasped the future before it happened and helped set the nation on a course of progress.” —David Greenberg, author of Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency
“Offering a sweeping cultural and political review of the 1990s, Gil Troy ties together the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Newt Gingrich, Bill Gates, Kurt Cobain, and Harry Potter. He convincingly identifies the decade as the Age of Clinton for the president who personified its noble aspirations, notable achievements, missed opportunities, and embarrassing excesses.” —Donald A. Ritchie, author of Reporting from Washington: A History of the Washington Press Corps
“It takes an historian of enormous skill and subtlety to capture a man as complicated as Bill Clinton and a time as confusing as America in the 1990s. Gil Troy is that historian. His book is fresh, compelling, and fascinating. It combines powerful storytelling with creative synthesis. It's the best book on the man and his times.” —Steven M. Gillon, author of The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation
“Gil Troy's The Age of Clinton is a delightful romp down our memory lane of the 1990s. The narrative is seamless and written with insightful verve. Highly recommended!” —Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University and author of Cronkite
“This is the book we didn't know we were waiting for. It is the needed correction to the lazy idea that because we had peace and prosperity in the 1990s not much happened. Gil Troy shows us that living through history is no guarantee we understand it. Only now do I realize how much I missed. Troy takes the history seriously and shows us why we should too in an engrossing and balanced cultural study of the first order.” —Rick Shenkman, publisher of History News Network
“Gil Troy takes us on a captivating safari through America in the 1990s. His book on the Clinton years has a brilliant insight on just about every page about the president, the politics, the culture, and all of us. It's a magnificent read.” —Lesley Stahl, correspondent, Sixty Minutes