After Aquarius Dawned

How the Revolutions of the Sixties Became the Popular Culture of the Seventies

By Judy Kutulas

After Aquarius Dawned

274 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 17 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3291-9
    Published: April 2017
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3290-2
    Published: April 2017

Paperback Available April 2017, but pre-order your copy today!

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In this book, Judy Kutulas complicates the common view that the 1970s were a time of counterrevolution against the radical activities and attitudes of the previous decade. Instead, Kutulas argues that the experiences and attitudes that were radical in the 1960s were becoming part of mainstream culture in the 1970s, as sexual freedom, gender equality, and more complex notions of identity, work, and family were normalized through popular culture--television, movies, music, political causes, and the emergence of new communities. Seemingly mundane things like watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show, listening to Carole King songs, donning Birkenstock sandals, or reading Roots were actually critical in shaping Americans’ perceptions of themselves, their families, and their relation to authority.

Even as these cultural shifts eventually gave way to a backlash of political and economic conservatism, Kutulas shows that what critics perceive as the narcissism of the 1970s was actually the next logical step in a longer process of assimilating 1960s values like individuality and diversity into everyday life. Exploring such issues as feminism, sexuality, and race, Kutulas demonstrates how popular culture helped many Americans make sense of key transformations in U.S. economics, society, politics, and culture in the late twentieth century.

About the Author

Judy Kutulas is professor of history and American studies at Saint Olaf College.
For more information about Judy Kutulas, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"In this deeply ambitious and fascinating history, Judy Kutulas reveals how the 'Aquarian' promise of the 1960s was extended, revised, and integrated into 1970s popular culture and reflected in the lives of 'everyday' Americans. This book should stand as a major work (even the major work) on the cultural history of the 1970s."--Jeremy Varon, The New School

“Lively and entertaining, this cultural history traces the consequences of the sixties into the seventies, explaining--as well as any I’ve read--how sixties cultural norms were altered, but not completely transformed, by the politics, economics, and demography of the following decade. Full of examples and stories that will be familiar to many, this book is a pleasure to read.”--Edward Berkowitz, George Washington University