Decade of Nightmares

Decade of Nightmares

The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America

eBook - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
1
Drawing on a wide array of sources--including tabloid journalism, popular fiction, movies, and television shows--Philip Jenkins argues that a remarkable confluence of panics, scares, and a few genuine threats created a climate of fear that led to the conservative reaction. He identifies 1975 to 1986 as the watershed years. During this time, he says, there was a sharp increase in perceived threats to our security at home and abroad. At home, America seemed to be threatened by monstrous criminals--serial killers, child abusers, Satanic cults, and predatory drug dealers, to name just a few. On the international scene, we were confronted by the Soviet Union and its evil empire, by OPEC with its stranglehold on global oil, by the Ayatollahs who made hostages of our diplomats in Iran. Increasingly, these dangers began to be described in terms of moral evil. Rejecting the radicalism of the '60s, which many saw as the source of the crisis, Americans adopted a more pessimistic interpretation of human behavior, which harked back to much older themes in American culture. This simpler but darker vision ultimately brought us Ronald Reagan and the ascendancy of the political Right, which more than two decades later shows no sign of loosening its grip.--from publisher description.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
ISBN: 9781429420945
1429420944
0195178661
Characteristics: 1 online resource (344 pages)
Alternative Title: Decade of nightmares

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

It is broadly accepted on the Left that things start going bad in the United States in the mid-'70s. Union density and hourly wages begin their steady descent at that time. Critics like Noam Chomsky point the finger at the the Right Wing counterrevolution, conveniently proclaimed in the Powell Memo, calling for corporate free enterprise to counterattack and rollback the "excess of democracy." The Right prefers to situate the American fall from grace in the cultural revolution of the 1960s when the Hippies, blacks, Chicanos, women, Indians demanded recognition. What is terrific about DECADE OF NIGHTMARES is that it is an exhaustive exploration from a conservative academic, Philip Jenkins (who teaches at Baylor University these days), of how the Right Wing counterrevolution won the cultural war in the U.S. How did it do it? By fear. What is particularly compelling about Jenkins' argument is the role children played, the inflated perception of danger surrounding children that is, in the counterrevolution. Sexual predators, serial killers, drug pushers -- all were spotlighted as threats to children. The Age of Aquarius and its bountiful aspirations of a more free, artistic, egalitarian society disappeared in the late '70s behind a smokescreen of prurient (mostly television) journalism.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...
APL owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top