25 Women to Read Before You Die

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays, Recipes | August 19, 2015

    Cara Nicoletti: IMG Ramona Quimby Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Thighs

    As a kid, I read for two reasons: the first, and most common, was to escape from my everyday life by imagining a different one — to read about... Continue »
    1. $19.60 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside AMST- 1950/60/70870

This title in other editions

Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class


Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An epic account of how middle-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the 1970s, this wide-ranging cultural and political history rewrites the 1970s as the crucial, pivotal era of our time. Jefferson Cowies edgy and incisive book—part political intrigue, part labor history, with large doses of American musical, film, and TV lore—makes new sense of the 1970s as a crucial and poorly understood transition from New Deal America (with its large, optimistic middle class) to the widening economic inequalities, poverty, and dampened expectations of the 1980s and into the present.

Stayin Alive takes us from the factory floors of Ohio, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, to the Washington of Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Cowie also connects politics to culture, showing how the big screen and the jukebox can help us understand how America turned away from the radicalism of the 1960s and toward the patriotic promise of Ronald Reagan. Cowie makes unexpected connections between the secrets of the Nixon White House and the failings of George McGovern campaign; radicalism and the blue-collar backlash; the earthy twang of Merle Haggards country music and the falsetto highs of Saturday Night Fever. Like Jeff Perlsteins acclaimed Nixonland, Stayin Alive moves beyond conventional understandings of the period and brilliantly plumbs it for insights into our current way of life.

Book News Annotation:

Cowie (history, Cornell U.) presents a "bottom-up" labor history of the 1970s. Focusing on the decline of organized labor and the corresponding blow to the fortunes of the working class, this volume provides a snapshot of the decade that saw blue collar Americans rejecting the unrealized promises of sixties radicalism and moving toward the scapegoating and false class consciousness of the Reagan era. The author attempts to integrate popular culture into his analysis of labor and class history but the majority of the work deals with the characters, negotiations and strikes of the crippled labor movement and its supporters. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Jefferson Cowie is an associate professor of history at Cornell University. He is the author of Capital Moves: RCAs Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor (The New Press), which received the Philip Taft Prize for the Best Book in Labor History for 2000, and a co-editor of Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

Product Details

The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class
Cowie, Jefferson
Cowie, Jefferson R.
The New Press
United States - 20th Century
US History - 20th Century
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
9.25 x 6.13 in 0.39 oz

Other books you might like

  1. State of the Union: A Century of... Used Hardcover $10.95

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Classes
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Bibliography and Library Science

Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 In Stock
Product details 488 pages New Press - English 9781565848757 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.