While historians have revisited every aspect of America history in the tumultuous 1960s, coverage of the following decade is sparse. As America reflects on the 50th anniversary of the 1970s, Blaine Browne reexamines the decade’s major international, political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual developments, giving special attention to how its developments continue to impact American life. He views the decade as a major transitional era, given the death of many of the promises and hopes of the Sixties, the collapse of the post-World War II consensus, and the uncertainties of a new age in which the America might well not enjoy the preeminent global position it had held for the previous quarter century. Growing fundamental economic challenges, as well as concerns about the viability of the nation’s political leadership and democratic institutions added to these anxieties. A general angst permeated national life. Whether readers are reliving the years when they came of age or exploring the 1970s for the first time, Dazed and Confused will introduce the topics and cast of characters who defined this pivotal decade in American life.
Blaine T. Browne is Emeritus Professor at Broward College and is the author of numerous articles and books including Modern American Lives: Individuals and Issues in American History, Lives and Times: Individuals and Issues in American History, and Uncertain Order: The World in the Twentieth Century. He is coauthor with Robert C. Cottrell of 1968: The Rise and Fall of the New American Revolution (2018). He presently teaches at Oklahoma City University.
Chapter I – “I’m Wasted, and I Can’t Find My Way Home:” The End of the Sixties
Close – Ups: Jimi Hendrix / Abbie Hoffman
Chapter II – “A Decent Interval:” America Leaves Vietnam, 1969 - 1973
Close – Ups: John Paul Vann / John Kerry
Chapter III – “Should Have Destroyed the Tapes:” The Collapse of the Nixon Presidency.
Close-Ups: Richard Nixon / Spiro Agnew
Chapter IV – Bringing the War Home: Last Spasms of the Radical Left
Close-Ups: Bernardine Dohrn / Donald De Freeze
Chapter V – “The American Ride Is Ending:” Energy Crises and a Post-Industrial Economy
Close-Ups: Bill Gates / Lee Iacocca
Chapter VI – Looking Out for Number One: The Me Decade and the Endurance of Social Commitment
Close-Ups: Robert Ringer / Paul Watson
Chapter VII – “What Is Special Order 937?:” Film and Television in the Seventies
Close-Ups: Sam Peckinpah / Stephen Spielberg
Chapter VIII – “Bridge Over Troubled Water:” Popular Music in the Seventies
Close-Ups: Jackson Browne / Patti Smith
Chapter IX – “A Crisis of Confidence:” National Politics and Foreign Policy
Close-Ups: Shirley Chisholm / Phyllis Schlafly
Epilogue: “Are You Better Off Now….:” The Promise and Reality of the Eighties
Dazed and Confused is an imaginative exploration of the 1970s that effectively challenges popular perceptions that little of historical importance happened during the much-maligned decade. In this thought-provoking book, historian Blaine Browne highlights how national politics, popular culture, economic trends, human rights struggles, and foreign policy both reflected national anxieties and intensified the uncertainty that characterized the crucial decade between the “radical” 60s and “conservative” 80s. The result is a work that is accessible to a general audience yet also useful for all students of Twentieth Century America.