The Super Seventies

Some two dozen titles evoke the politically and culturally significant events and personalities in the 1970s--from Vietnam & Watergate to "Star Wars" and Margaret Thatcher. What a time it was!

Gerald R. Ford

By Douglas Brinkley

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"The 'accidental' president whose innate decency and steady hand restored the presidency after its greatest crisis When Gerald R. Ford entered the White House in August 1974, he inherited a presidency tarnished by the Watergate scandal, the economy was in a recession, the Vietnam War was drawing to a close, and he had taken office without having been elected. Most observers gave him little chance of success, especially after he pardoned Richard Nixon just a month into his presidency, an action that outraged many Americans, but which Ford thought was necessary to move the nation forward.

"Many people today think of Ford as a man who stumbled a lot--clumsy on his feet and in politics--but acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley shows him to be a man of independent thought and conscience, who never allowed party loyalty to prevail over his sense of right and wrong. As a young congressman, he stood up to the isolationists in the Republican leadership, promoting a vigorous role for America in the world. Later, as House minority leader and as president, he challenged the right wing of his party, refusing to bend to their vision of confrontation with the Communist world. And after the fall of Saigon, Ford also overruled his advisers by allowing Vietnamese refugees to enter the United States, arguing that to do so was the humane thing to do. Brinkley draws on exclusive interviews with Ford and on previously unpublished documents (including a remarkable correspondence between Ford and Nixon stretching over four decades), fashioning a masterful reassessment of Gerald R. Ford's presidency and his underappreciated legacy to the nation."

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Action Figure! The Life and Times of Doonesbury's Uncle Duke

By G.B. Trudeau

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"...the definitive history of his adventures from 1970 to 1991.The perennial bad boy of American comics has always been a man of action: libelous action, irrational action, covert action, back-street action -- even when comatose, he has a certain flair. Duke is the man of a thousand vices, with almost as many pages to his resume. For 17 years, from Samoa to China to Panama to Kuwait, wherever serious mischief was being dealt, Duke has been a major figure. Action Figure! gives the Toasted One his due -- one vast, staggering flashback that tracks his careening career from Gonzo Journalist to Governor, Ambassador, Coach, Laetrile Farmer, Fugitive, and Zombie. No risk has been too great, no prospect too strange, to sway the man with nerves of steel from his random course."

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Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror

By Jason Zinoman

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"Based on unprecedented access to the genre's major players, New York Times film critic Zinoman delivers the first definitive account of horror's golden age--the 1970s, when such directors as Wes Craven, Roman Polanski, John Carpenter, and Brian De Palma redefined the genre."

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Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America

By Richard Zoglin

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"In the rock-and-roll 1970s, a new breed of comic, inspired by the fearless Lenny Bruce, made telling jokes an art form. Innovative comedians like George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Robert Klein, and, later, Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, Robin Williams, and Andy Kaufman, tore through the country and became as big as rock stars in an era when Saturday Night Live was the apotheosis of cool and the Improv, Catch a Rising Star, and the Comedy Store were the hottest clubs around.

"In Comedy at the Edge, Richard Zoglin gives a backstage view of the time, when a group of brilliant, iconoclastic comedians ruled the world--and quite possibly changed it, too. Based on extensive interviews with club owners, agents, producers--and with unprecedented and unlimited access to the players themselves-- Comedy at the Edge is a no-holdsbarred, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most influential and tumultuous decades in American popular culture."

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"What the Heck Are You up to, Mr. President?" Jimmy Carter, America's "Malaise," and the Speech that Should Have Changed the Country

By Kevin Mattson

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"In 1979, in an effort to right our national malaise, Jimmy Carter delivered a speech that risked his reputation and the future of the Democratic Party, changing the course of American politics for the next twenty-five years. At a critical moment in Jimmy Carter's presidency, he gave a speech that should have changed the country. Instead it led to his downfall and ushered in the rise of the conservative movement in America.

"In What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President? Kevin Mattson gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the weeks leading up to Carter's 'malaise' speech, a period of great upheaval in the United States: the energy crisis had resulted in mile-long gas lines, inciting suburban riots and violence; the country's morale was low and Carter's ratings were even lower. The administration, wracked by its own crises, was in constant turmoil and conflict. What came of their great internal struggle, which Mattson conveys with the excitement of a political thriller, was a speech that deserves a place alongside Lincoln's Gettysburg Address or FDR's First Inaugural."

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The Crisis: The President, the Prophet, and the Shah-- 1979 and the Coming of Militant Islam

By David Harris

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"A quarter century ago, a group of Iranian students swept into the United States embassy in Tehran, overpowering the Americans there and taking them hostage. The crisis that ensued would define the Carter presidency and help give rise to the Reagan administration. It would begin as a rebellion against one brutal dictator and end with another in place. It was the turning point, the moment when radical Islam first rose up against America--the beginning of a clash that continues to define our times today. The author's narrative races from Washington to Tehran to Paris to Panama, tracking a dying Shah, a flailing Carter, an ascending Khomeini, the disastrous Desert One rescue attempt, and the lives of the Americans held in blindfolds amid a revolution like none other."

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White House Diary

By Jimmy Carter

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"The edited, annotated diary of President Jimmy Carter; filled with insights into his presidency, his relationships with friends and foes, and his lasting impact on issues that still preoccupy America and the world. Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary, recording his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations. He offered unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations such as those that led to the Camp David Accords. When his four-year term came to an end in early 1981, the diary amounted to more than five thousand pages. But this extraordinary document has never been made public; until now. By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an astonishingly intimate view of his presidency."

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Meltdown: A Race Against Nuclear Disaster at Three Mile Island: A Reporter's Story

By Wilborn Hampton

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"This riveting eyewitness report--including dramatic photos--takes readers right to the scene of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. March 28, 1979: It was 4 a.m. at the nuclear power plant on an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River. Suddenly, an alarm shrieked. Something was wrong inside the plant. Within minutes, human error and technical failure triggered the worst nuclear power accident in the United States, and, within hours, the eyes of the world would be on Three Mile Island. Thirty-four years after the bombing of Hiroshima, the crisis at Three Mile Island re-awoke the world to the dangers of nuclear power, and now, in MELTDOWN, Wilborn Hampton tells the hour-by-hour story of covering the accident as a U.P.I. reporter."

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All the President's Men

By Warner Home Video

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The true story of how Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered the White House involvement in the Watergate break in. Based on their Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting which was later set down as a book.

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