From the dust jacket:
An epic account of how working-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the 1970s, Stayin’ Alive is a wide-ranging cultural and political history that will forever redefine a misunderstood decade.
Prizewinning historian Jefferson Cowie’s edgy and incisive book—part political intrigue, part labor history, with large doses of American music, film and TV lore–reveals America’s fascinating and little understood path from the rising incomes and optimism of the New Deal to the widening economic inequalities and deflated expectations of the present.
Stayin’ Alive takes us from the factory floors of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit to the Washington of Nixon, Ford, and Carter, connecting politics and culture, and showing how the big screen and the jukebox can help understand how America turned away from the radicalism of the 1960s and toward the patriotic promise of Ronald Reagan. Cowie also makes unexpected connections between the secrets of the Nixon White House and the failings of the George McGovern campaign, between radicalism and the blue-collar backlash, and between the earthy twang of Merle Haggard’s country music and the falsetto highs of Saturday Night Fever.
Stayin’ Alive captures nothing less than the defining characteristics of a new era—a history with profound relevance for our own time.