The Seventies

Andrew J. Edelstein, Author, Kevin McDonough, With Plume Books $13.95 (22p) ISBN 978-0-525-48572-8
Newsday reporter Edelstein ( The Pop '60s: A Personal and Irreverent Guide ) and McDonough, a sales manager for Pharos Books, take us on a tour of '70s popular culture, giving a quick fix on significant trends in cinema, rock and roll, fashion, television and politics from that hurriedly forgotten decade. Their thesis is that the '70s really changed people's daily lives with the coming to fruition of such movements as feminism and gay liberation. This so-called revisionist overview is refreshingly biased but decidedly frothy. The authors' notions of high and low culture, liberal and conservative, have been contrived to appeal to middle-brow, middle-class tastes. Woody Allen is applauded for his early slapstick movies, such as Bananas , and denigrated for films, most notably Manhattan , in which g he satirizes the literati. On the political front, Gerald Ford comes across as both a likable buffoon and underrated president, while George McGovern is a ``symbol of leftist elitism.'' While leaving nostalgic yearnings in its wake, the book unintentionally more supports than dispels the notion that the zeitgeist of the '70s was merely a postscript to the '60s and a prelude to the '80s. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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