Margaret Sankey's Reviews > Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class

Stayin' Alive by Jefferson R. Cowie
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

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Reading like the operational outcome of Perlstein's _Nixonland_, this study follows the breakup of the old New Deal Coalition through economic pressure, internal problems of the unions, identity politics and generational fractures and the deliberate leveraging of those issues to push working-class whites to the populism of George Wallace or the Moral Majority. Although Cowie's epilogue linking this to the political ancestry of Joe the (Turns Out He's Not Really A) Plumber is a little forced, the point is well taken that the current political situation has been 35 years in the making and that there's not much new under the sun. With cogent analysis of Archie Bunker, Taxi Driver, Disco, and Presidential candidates in hard hats.
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