Strange Days Indeed
Strange Days Indeed The 1970s : the Golden Age of Paranoia By Wheen, Francis Book - 2010

A glib compendium of political events during the decade of the 1970s. Wheen's thesis is that the '70s gave us a culture of conspiracy and mass paranoia. (What about the '50s and McCarthyism?) The sections of the book devoted to the Tory government of Ted Heath and the Labour government of Harold Wilson are worthwhile. The problem with STRANGE DAYS INDEED is the emphasis is all wrong. Wheen rails against the New Left and focuses most of his attention on the early-to-middle parts of the decade, and therefore he only elliptically addresses the rise of Thatcher and Reagan. But that's the essential riddle of the '70s: How did we go from Kent State to "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree"? From mass democratic social revolution to American exceptionalism and market fundamentalism? The people got punked and we've been frozen in the same deteriorating socio-economic paradigm ever since.

MICHAEL TAGGART MALONEY's rating:
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