RefAnnBib- Roderick

Part 1: Bibliographic entry

Sanger-Katz, Margot. “When Was America Greatest” The New York Times, 26 April 2016,

Part 2: Keywords

– 1950s
– 1960s
– 1980s
– 1990s
– 2000
– Consult survey
– partisan patterns
– Reagan
– Bill Clinton

Part 3: Précis

Sanger-Katz’s purpose of writing this article was to show readers of the New Yoke Times that Americans can’t collectively agree when America was greatest; some think it was at its greatest in the 1980s, others think it was at its greatest in 2000, before the attacks of September 11 in 2001. Sanger-Katz also writes this article to inform readers that there may be a relationship between the year they believe America was the greatest and the political party they support. With possibly political parties playing a role in why people think the year the selected was the greatest, Sanger- Katz, I believed wanted his readers to critically think if whether they believed the year they think is the best was the best for them as individual American citizens or the political party they supported. To prove this claim, Katz uses surveys conducted with two sample sizes, one with registered Democrats and Republicans. The results showed Democrats would say 2008, a year of economic collapse, was a great year for the country. Republicans believed the mid-1980s, the era of Regan’s presidency, was great. Although the survey showed Americans have some bias towards when they think America is greatest, it didn’t always support Katz’s theory. Regardless of political party, Americans viewed 2000 as a great year for America. To wrap his article, Katz believes that there are some biases in people’s decision of when America was greatest.

Part 4: Reflection

With the evidence Kat provides, I do think there is an involvement of political affiliation when people decide what the greatest year for America is, but that’s not the not only factor. As individuals, we all have different experiences that contribute to what we believe is the greatest year of this country. Although I don’t have a year that I think is the greatest for this country, I wonder why everyone collectively agrees 2000 was a great year.

part 5: Quotables

“There were partisan patterns in views of America’s greatness. Republicans, over all, recall the late 1950s and the mid-1980s most fondly. Sample explanations: ‘Reagan.’ ‘Economy was booming.’ ‘No wars!’ ‘Life was simpler.’ ‘Strong family values.’ ”

“As a group, Democrats seem to think America’s greatest days were more recent; they were more likely to pick a year in the 1990s, or since 2000. After 2000, their second-most-popular answer was 2016. Sample explanations: “We’re getting better.” “Improving social justice.” ”

“Over all, 2000 was the most popular choice, a preference that cut across political party, candidate preference, gender and age.”

2 thoughts on “RefAnnBib- Roderick

  1. Roderick,

    I liked how this article you found discusses how one’s political party influences when they viewed America as being the greatest. I think that it’s such an important source to include in your essay to represent what you stated in your reflection that individuals’ experiences are different which, in turn, shapes their belief on what year they believed America was the greatest. I would also want to know why many seemed in unison that 2000 was a great year and I think it would be interesting to further explore that.

  2. Hey Roderick,
    Reading your summary of the article was very interesting. I agree that there is a bias when deciding what the greatest year of America is. Being born in 2002 and in Ecuador, I don’t necessarily understand 2000 as being regarded as the best. As you mentioned it all has to do with each individual’s belief systems and experiences. I think your paper is going to be very interesting. There are so many things you can research or ways in which you could alter your focus. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

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