The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class
New Press, Hardcover, 9781565848757, 464pp.
Publication Date: December 30, 2010
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 Haggard's country music and the falsetto highs of Saturday Night Fever. Like Jeff Perlstein's acclaimed Nixonland, Stayin Alive moves beyond conventional understandings of the period and brilliantly plumbs it for insights into our current way of life.
so fresh, fertile and real that the only thing it resembles is itselfYou just have to read it. It establishes its author as one our most commanding interpreters of recent American experience. It corrals all the generational energies coursing through the centrifuge of postbaby boomer 70s scholarship and churns them into the first compelling, coherent statement I’ve read of what happened in the '70sCowie's accomplishment is to convey what this epic cheat felt like from the inside.”Rick Perlstein, The Nation
If you want to understand how we got herehow the Democrats’ New Deal coalition shattered in the 1970s, and why progressives are still picking the shrapnel out of their political hidesyou must read Stayin' Alive. A fun read with cultural insightCowie is impossibly fair.”Joan Walsh, Salon.com