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It Seemed Like Nothing Happened: America in the 1970s Paperback – February 1, 1990
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"A compelling and persuasive challenge to the journalistic characterization of the '70s as the 'Me Decade.'" -- Ruth Rosen, University of California, Davis
"This is the single best book on the 1970s." -- Leo Ribuffo, George Washington University
From the Back Cover
The title of Peter Carroll's book, "It Seemed Like Nothing Happened", ironically reveals the message. The decade of the '70s was far from our common impression of the calm following the turbulent '60s. Instead, it was a time filled with dramatic events and changes.
In this unique, comprehensive history of the 1970s, we learn about international developments: the war in Cambodia, Nixon's trip to China, the oil embargo and resulting gas shortage, the Mayaquez incident, the Camp David accords, the Iranian capture of the U.S. embassy and the taking of hostages, the ill-fated rescue mission. All this signaled a decline in American power and influence. We also learn about domestic politics: Kent State, the Pentagon Papers, Haynsworth and Carswell, the Eagleton affair, the rise of ticket splitting, inflation, recession, unemployment, Watergate, Agnew's resignation, the Saturday night massacre, Nixon's resignation, the pardon for draft evaders, Proposition 13, the politicization of organized religion, the conservative shift in the Democratic Party, and the Reagan electoral landslide. Carroll reminds us of tragedies and occasional moments of levity, bringing up the names Patricia Hearst, George Jackson and Angela Davis, Wilbur Mills and the Argentina Firecracker, Wayne Hays and Elizabeth Ray, Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.
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Top Customer Reviews
As another reviewer observed, this does read like a textbook but it doesn't detract from presenting the facts in a well-organized context and format. Since I'd already read a bunch of other books about the 70's (I recommend Mad as Hell by Dominic Sandbrook as the best of the bunch)I found nothing new presented in this book that I hadn't already read before. A similar timeline: Vietnam disillusionment, Watergate, inflation, breakdown of nuclear family, culminating with the election of Reagan. A quick read and, thankfully, not as heavy handed as some of the other titles on my reading list, like David Frum's How We Got Here (still the worst of the bunch). If you only have time to read one book about the 70's, keep this title in mind