David Goldfield, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has written 16 books on southern and American history. His newest is “The Gifted Generation: When Government Was Good,” which focuses on the social benefits provided to the early baby boomers under presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson.
Among the questions I asked him:
- Were they (Truman/Ike/LBJ) more sympathetic to working class Americans because they didn’t have much when they grew up?
- Truman proposed universal health care 70 years ago, but couldn’t pass it — why?
- What was public opinion on these matters, and were those men leading or pandering?
- When did the belief that the federal government must work for all Americans begin to erode?
- Are there other countries where the government continues to support its people that way?
- Was there ever such a thing as progressive republicans?
- Considering its current state, can American government ever be good again?