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The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia

Feeling Good About America

By 1976 the turmoil of the 1960s and scandal of the Nixon presidency was behind us, and Americans were ready to be normal again. A new feeling was sweeping coast to coast as people pulled together to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial and to select a new president who could help close the book on an awful decade. Feeling Good About America tells the story of the 1976 presidential election where then-former California Governor Ronald Reagan, little known Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter and incumbent President Gerald Ford battled for our nation’s highest office. Through interviews with Walter Mondale, Jack Ford, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Stuart K. Spencer and many more, learn how Reagan took his fight for the Republican nomination all the way to the convention. See how Carter charmed America, courting the rock ‘n’ roll vote and playing off his Southern heritage. America felt good about Ford and about Carter for good reason; they were the right people at the right time, helping us once again feel good about America.

UVA Center for Politics