Decade of Nightmares

Decade of Nightmares

The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America

Book - 2006
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Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
ISBN: 9780195178661
Branch Call Number: 973.92 Jenkins 2006
Characteristics: 344 p. ;,25 cm.


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It is broadly accepted on the Left that things start going bad in the United States in the mid-'70s. Union density and hourly wages begin their steady descent at that time. Critics like Noam Chomsky point the finger at the the Right Wing counterrevolution, conveniently proclaimed in the Powell Memo, calling for corporate free enterprise to counterattack and rollback the "excess of democracy." The Right prefers to situate the American fall from grace in the cultural revolution of the 1960s when the Hippies, blacks, Chicanos, women, Indians demanded recognition. What is terrific about DECADE OF NIGHTMARES is that it is an exhaustive exploration from a conservative academic, Philip Jenkins (who teaches at Baylor University these days), of how the Right Wing counterrevolution won the cultural war in the U.S. How did it do it? By fear. What is particularly compelling about Jenkins' argument is the role children played, the inflated perception of danger surrounding children that is, in the counterrevolution. Sexual predators, serial killers, drug pushers -- all were spotlighted as threats to children. The Age of Aquarius and its bountiful aspirations of a more free, artistic, egalitarian society disappeared in the late '70s behind a smokescreen of prurient (mostly television) journalism.


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