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STAYIN' ALIVE

THE 1970S AND THE LAST DAYS OF THE WORKING CLASS

An authoritative analysis that will appeal mainly to students and scholars.

A labor historian traces political and cultural forces that turned the 1970s into a swan song for the American working class.

Cowie (History/Cornell Univ.; Capital Moves: RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheaper Labor, 1999, etc.) opens this rich but overlong book with an account of the many strikes and other signs of labor revival in the early ’70s, when young, hip miners, steelworkers and others engaged in insurgencies reflecting widespread rank-and-file dissent. In that hopeful time, Rolling Stone hailed Eugene Debs–like steelworker Eddie Sadlowski as an “old-fashioned hero of the new working class” when he made his failed bid for union leadership. By mid-decade, the United States was wracked by stagflation, Watergate and the continuing failures in Vietnam, and had begun making a watershed transition from the optimism of the New Deal to the diminished expectations of the present. As organized labor’s power waned, the concept of a unified “working class” shattered and blue-collar whites took cultural refuge in Ronald Reagan’s populist-right affirmation of God, patriotism and patriarchy. With incisive discussions of the era’s popular culture, Cowie shows how the working class’s evolving struggle to find a place in the eventful decade was evinced in music (Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee,” Bruce Springstein’s “Born in the U.S.A.”), films (Joe, Saturday Night Fever) and TV shows (All in the Family). By the end of the decade, writes the author, the cry of “I’m dying here,” made by Al Pacino playing a blue-collar bank robber in Dog Day Afternoon, could be seen as a lament for the disarray of blue-collar identity, writes the author. By 1980, the TV show Dallas, featuring amoral oil baron J.R. Ewing, was America’s favorite, and “a Reaganesque cross-class alliance” united “white worker and rich man in common cause—to repeal the 1960s.” Packed with interesting stories, Cowie’s book explores all the complexities of blue-collar yearning in the period and shows how the post–New Deal working class, whose needs the country had once addressed, became America’s forgotten workers.

An authoritative analysis that will appeal mainly to students and scholars.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-56584-875-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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