ISBN is

978-0-7567-7233-8 / 0756772338

How We Got Here: The 70's, The Decade That Brought You Modern Life For Better Or Worse

by Frum, David

Publisher:Diane Pub Co

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

In a relentlessly smart book full of colourful anecdotes and deft pop-culture references, author David Frum describes the social convulsions of the 1970s: "We live in a world made new, and made new not by new machines, but by new feelings, new thoughts, new manners, new ways". The 1960s have a reputation as America's turning-point decade, but Frum convincingly argues that the 10 years following mattered more. The 1970s, writes Frum, "left behind a country that was more dynamic, more competitive, more tolerant; less deferential, less self-confident, less united; more socially equal, less economically equal; more expressive, more risk-averse, more sexual; less literate, less polite, less reticent".

The precise dates of this transformation are not as important as the reasons behind them, however, and the explanation for what happened as given in How We Got Here is both original and compelling. He says America's mid-century confidence was an anomaly. At some point, "the rebellion of an unmilitary people against institutions and laws formed by a century of war and the preparation for war" was inevitable. Rather than pondering why Americans trust their public institutions today less than they did during the Watergate revelations, for instance, Frum turns the question on its head: Why was the trust so high previous to that experience? His narrative describing the dizzy whirl of progress is absorbing, and his warning against both the nostalgic myths of the past and the uncritical acceptance of recent change is wise. How We Got Here also has a perfect title; there may not be a better book available on the broad currents of American social life in the second half of the 20th century. --John J. Miller

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