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Mad as Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Rightby Dominic Sandbrook
Synopses & Reviews
I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore The words of Howard Beale, the fictional anchorman in the 1970s hit film Network, struck a chordwith a generation of Americans. From the disgrace of Watergate to the humiliation of the Iran hostage crisis, the American Dream seemed to be falling apart.
In this magisterial new history, DominicSandbrook re-creates the schizophrenic atmosphere of the 1970s, the world of Henry Kissinger and Edward Kennedy, Anita Bryant and Jerry Falwell, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Landry. He takes us back to an age when feministswere on the march and the Communists seemed to be winning the Cold War, but also when a new kind of right-wing populism was transforming American politics from the ground up. Those years gave us organic food, disco music, gas lines, and gay rights-but they also gave us Proposition 13, the neoconservative movement, and the rise of Ronald Reagan.
From the killing fields of Vietnam to the mean streets of Manhattan, this is a richly compelling picture of the turbulent age in which our modern-day populist politics was born. For those who remember the days when you could buy a new Ford Mustang II but had to wait hours to fill the tank, this could hardly be a more vivid book. And for those born later, it is the perfect guide to a tortured landscape that shaped our present, from the financial boardroom to the suburban bedroom: the extraordinary world of1970s America.
From the Hardcover edition.
Documents the course of politically defining events in the 1970s, tracing the administrations of Nixon, Ford and Carter while citing the beginnings of right-wing Christian populism, Washington partisanship and other political causes that remain hot-button issues today.
A comprehensively researched, panoramic account of a defining era in American history.
The 1970s were some of the grimmest years in American history: from Nixon's disgraceful exit after Watergate, to Ford's bumbling leadership, to Carter's seemingly endless miscalculations--these years formed a crucible in which the American people's most bitter resentments boiled over. And it's here that Dominic Sandbrook finds the roots of the right-wing Christian populism, intractable Washington partisanship, and near-total cynicism toward government that characterize much of our politics today. Moving deftly between social, political, and cultural history, Sandbrook offers powerful street-level views of such crucial events as the oil crisis, the sacking of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the nascent women's rights movement and the backlash it precipitated, Boston's public-school busing programs, and the anti-gay campaigns of Jerry Falwell and Anita Bryant. He also covers All in the Family, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Landry's legendary Dallas Cowboys.
Sandbrook brings an illuminating new awareness to these seminal pieces of our national history, affording us a deeper understanding of their resonance in our own time.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Born in Shropshire, England, in 1974, Dominic Sandbrook studied history and modern languages at Oxford University, earned a master’s degree at the University of St. Andrews, and a doctorate at Cambridge University. He taught American history at the University of Sheffield and has held a senior fellowship at the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford. He is the author of Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism. He lives in London.
Table of Contents
Pt. 1. Washington, D.C., August 1974 — Conspiracy theory — If he's so dumb, how come he's president? — Archie's guys — The porno plague — Interlude: Born to run — Let's look ferocious — Southie won't go — Redneck chic — The man of a thousand faces — Interlude: TV's super women — The weirdo factor — Reagan country — The Jimmy and Jerry show — Washington, D.C, January 1977 — pat. 2. Mr. Carter goes to Washington — Interlude: Steeltown, U.S.A. — Roots and rights — The sweetheart of the silent majority — Whatever happened to California? — Apocalypse now — Nuke the Ayatollah! — Interlude: America's team — Conservatives for change — Soldiers of God — To sail against the wind — Rendezvous with destiny — Washington, D.C., January 1981.
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