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Governing AmericaThe Revival of Political History$
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Julian E. Zelizer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150734

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150734.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

Without Restraint: Scandal and Politics in America

Without Restraint: Scandal and Politics in America

Chapter:
(p.232) Twelve Without Restraint: Scandal and Politics in America
Source:
Governing America
Author(s):

Julian E. Zelizer

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691150734.003.0013

This chapter explores the relationship between politics and scandal throughout American history. Scandals had been part of American politics since the revolution, but they had never so pervasive as in the last three decades of the twentieth century. They had become integral to partisan strategy, political reform, and the public perception of government. The chapter first considers the role of scandal in national politics in the early postwar era, 1945–1964, before discussing the efforts of public interest groups in collaboration with liberal Democrats to put corruption on the national agenda. It then examines the politics of reform between 1972 and 1978, along with the change in political style that gradually encouraged the latent tendency of democratic politics to veer into scandal during the period 1978–1992. It also looks at television coverage of scandals and the impeachment of Bill Clinton and concludes with some reflections on the future of scandal politics.

Keywords:   scandals, American politics, public interest groups, corruption, reform politics, democratic politics, impeachment, Bill Clinton, scandal politics

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