By Will Kaufman
The Nineteen Seventies was once some of the most culturally brilliant sessions in American heritage. This publication discusses the dominant cultural varieties of the Seventies - fiction and poetry; tv and drama; movie and visible tradition; renowned track and elegance; public area and spectacle - and the decade's such a lot influential practitioners and texts: from Toni Morrison to All within the relations, from Diane Arbus to Bruce Springsteen, from M.A.S.H. to Taxi driving force and from disco divas to Vietnam protesters. based on those that think about the seventies the time of disco, polyester and narcissism, this ebook rewrites the serious engagement with considered one of America's so much misunderstood many years
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Extra info for American culture in the 1970s
For those who have experienced the rise of Middle Eastern anti-Americanism and of Islamist fundamentalism in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Said’s Orientalism offers many signposts on the road to that pass. Orientalism (1978) Said, a Palestinian-American professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, set out in Orientalism to theorise Western conceptions of the East, or ‘the Orient’, in what became a truly momentous study. ’ (1–2) The impact of such a belief system was the construction 14 American Culture in the 1970s of a severe, politically charged ‘vision of reality’ based on a perceived ‘difference between the familiar (Europe, the West, “us”) and the strange (the Orient, the east, “them”)’.
The denial of age in America’, Lasch writes, is yet another symptom of the culture of narcissism; ‘the prolongevity movement, which hopes to abolish old age altogether’, is less ‘a cult of youth’ than ‘a cult of the self’, expressing ‘in characteristic form the anxieties of a culture that believes it has no future’. (217) In spite of such a dire conclusion (the tenor of which drives his whole book), Lasch holds out a thread of hope which actually deserves more prominence in any assessment of the American 1970s – the ground-swell of grass-roots activism, prompted by ‘the inadequacy of solutions dictated from above’: In small towns and crowded urban neighborhoods, even in suburbs, men and women have initiated modest experiments in cooperation, designed to defend their rights against the corporation and the state.
Knowing their language makes medical people less mysterious and frightening. We now feel more confident when asking questions. Sometimes a doctor has been startled to find us speaking ‘his’ language. ‘How do you know that? ’ we heard again and again. ‘A pretty girl like you shouldn’t be concerned about that’. (25) The re-evaluation – and the seizure of knowledge – was profound: ‘For some of us it was the first time we had looked critically, and with strength, at the existing institutions serving us’.