Rock Me on the Water: 1974—The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television and Politics

Ronald Brownstein. Harper, $29.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-289921-7
CNN political analyst Brownstein (The Second Civil War) argues in this sweeping cultural history that L.A. in 1974 exerted more influence over music, movies, and television “than it ever had before, or would again.” Brownstein highlights Chinatown, Shampoo, and Nashville as examples of the edgier, more socially relevant films Hollywood made in the brief window between the collapse of the studio system and the rise of blockbusters. In music, the Eagles personified the “easy-riding, hard-partying soundtrack to Los Angeles’s golden hour,” Brownstein writes, while musicians such as Jackson Browne followed a circuitous path to success. Brownstein credits CBS for revolutionizing TV with shows (All in the Family, M*A*S*H, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show) that dealt with contemporary social issues and appealed to a wide demographic. Married couple Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda’s anti–Vietnam War activism and Jerry Brown’s rise to the governorship, meanwhile, illuminate the links between L.A.’s political and cultural scenes. Enriched by interviews with the period’s luminaries, including Warren Beatty and Linda Ronstadt, this astute and wide-ranging account shows how L.A. led the U.S. into an era when the 1960s counterculture became mainstream. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/29/2020
Release date: 03/23/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-289923-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-7999-5221-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-7999-5220-6
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