In assessing this tumultuous period in American history, Stephanie A. Slocum-Schaffer provides readers with a visceral experience of the seventies and a comprehensive survey of the important events of the entire decade. Central to the book is the belief that the 1970s were a time of betrayal and loss for the U. S., tempered by moments of healing and renewal. Slocum-Schaffer evokes the pain of Nixon's betrayal of the nation, the revelations of the My Lai massacre and the Pentagon Papers, and the losses of icons such as John Wayne, Jimi Hendrix, and the cult followers at Jonestown. At the same time, she revisits the successes of Camp David, Billie Jean King, and Frank Robinson, and the first Space Shuttle test flight, and reminds us of the healing that such events offered to the U. S.'s faltering self-esteem. America in the Seventies concludes with a ""Legacy Chapter,"" summarizing the influence of the events of the decade on future generations and an annotated bibliography that includes the author's recommendations for the ""best first book"" to read on each subject, as well as relevant Internet sources.
Stephanie A. Slocum-Schaffer is assistant professor of political science at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. She has held several administrative positions, including assistant director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential studies at American University.