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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in mylar jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps.
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Mad as Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right Hardcover – Deckle Edge


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400042623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400042623
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inspired by the famous scene in Network in which TV watchers howl their inchoate rage, historian Sandbrook (Eugene McCarthy) offers a shrewd, sparkling politico-cultural history of post-Watergate America. Sandbrook locates the decade's heart in the popular distrust and subsequent resentment of all institutions--governments, corporations, and unions. The individualism that results, Sandbrook argues, resonates with the roots of evangelicalism and develops into the beginnings of right-wing Christian populism. This fertile if not entirely original take on the era offers insightful interpretations of 1970s watersheds, from Jimmy Carter's canny "outsider" presidential campaign to property-tax revolts and battles over school busing and the ERA. Sandbrook sets his chronicle against a panorama of gasoline lines, stagflation, and epochal changes in race relations, women's roles, and sexual mores, woven together with cultural touchstones from Bruce Springsteen to Charlie's Angels. Sandbrook's account of right-wing populism as a mass phenomenon, fed by real grievances over social and economic turmoil and a pervasive sense of decline, largely misses the role of business interests; still, his subtle, well-written narrative of wrathful little guys confronting a faltering establishment illuminates a crucial aspect of a time much like our own. Photos. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

British commentator Sandbrook comes to much the same conclusion about 1970s America that countryman Francis Wheen reached in Strange Days Indeed (2010); namely, that a spirit of discontent, even paranoia, pervaded the U.S. throughout the decade. Starting with Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974, all the touchstones of the period are detailed: America’s humiliating defeat in Vietnam, an uptick in serious crime, economic malaise, rising fuel costs, environmental degradation, the Iranian hostage crisis, and an overall breakdown in respect for institutions, among others. But unlike Wheen, who’s content enough to state his case, Sandbrook lays out just how this discontent found its expression in the emergence of Ronald Reagan and the Republican Right by decade’s end. Not an easy book to work through, but readers will be rewarded for their effort. --Alan Moores

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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What I also liked about this book is that it keeps it's focus on the 1970's and how the events were important then without a great deal of foreshadowing.
R. C Sheehy
It's hard to believe that Dominic Sandbrook is a British historian when you read this book; images of the 1970s come back with such fidelity it's like a time machine.
Zift
Reading this book also makes it very clear that there are so many perspectives in history once you move away from the broad brush big picture kind of history.
Jackal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Zift on April 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to believe that Dominic Sandbrook is a British historian when you read this book; images of the 1970s come back with such fidelity it's like a time machine. If you grew up in the 1970s, the memories come alive one after another: the South Boston busing protests, Charlie's Angels, Archie Bunker, candidate Jimmy Carter from Plains, Anita Bryant, etc. Exceptionally well-written page-turner, it's hard to put down.
The theme of the populist right really takes a backseat, however. This is more of a documentary of 1970s culture and the uneasy road from 60s rebellion to the Reagan revolution. The author describes more than explains, and you get the feeling he revists the strange events of the 70s more because he's facsinated with them than to explain his central argument. In any case, it's far more interesting this way.
He offers some great insights that make sense of a lot of things. Did air conditioning really bring about the greatest shift in American demographics? He makes a good argument. The biggest shadow in the book is Inflation--essentially everything else seems to have been caused by it. At times, it seems like too simple of an explanation, but I would need to know a lot more about the 70s to judge if he's correct.
The book could have benefitted from a conclusion to wrap it all up. We're left with the fact of the Reagan election but not as much analysis of the key question of the 1970s -- how did liberal Carter populism give way to conservative Reagan populism.
Nonetheless, a fascinating and well-written book. Definitely worth the read. Unlike the 1970s, it is over too soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. C Sheehy on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I will give Dominic Sandbrook his due, he built a very interested story angle over well trod ground and tells a story that is one part political history and one part social history. The book does not cover the entire decade. It really begins with Watergate but that is fine because Watergate was really the first event which was not a hold over from the 1960's. The well told stories of Nixon,Carter and Reagan are told very well. Sandbrook does a great job of reminding us of some of the now lesser known people from the decade and how the grass roots movement may have reached its zenith during this period.

What I also liked about this book is that it keeps it's focus on the 1970's and how the events were important then without a great deal of foreshadowing. We see an allusion to Newt Gingrich and some other allusions to later events but these are not central roles so we don't see anything about the founding of Microsoft or anything that happened in the 70's but mattered later on. No this is almost exclusively focused on what happened in the 1970's.

If you are a social and political history junkie, this is the book for you! I recommend it highly!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Tonucci on April 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sandbrook's book is a tour de force that is up there with David Frum's 'How We Got Here: The 70s'. These are the best histories of the United States in the 1970s that I've read so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff T on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dominic Sandbrook's incredibly insightful re-telling of the 1970s in American life is crucial to understand the current political, social, cultural situation in the United States. Sandbrook takes his readers through an entertaining romp through America's battles of the 1970s from Nixon against the Communists down to Anita Bryant attacks on gay Americans and everything else in between. In it, you will find the kernels of the current tea-party wing of the GOP and the merciless attacks withered against President Obama. All the GOP needs now is a hostage crisis in the Islamic World to attack Obama with, just like Jimmy Carter, a true outlier president, faced in 79. Uh oh, I kid you not, today, as I write this review, an American Ambassador was killed in Libya while anti-Americanism rages throughout both Libya and Egypt. Do not hesitate to pick up a copy of this intellectual tour de force.
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By Tom Weinberg on April 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A comprehensive and engaging summary of an emotional time. Struck an accurate tone. Restated well-known events and supplemented them with fresh insights.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lived through this period, and this book is accurate, accessible, and highly readable. I was young at the time, and this book puts the period in much better perspective.
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