Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times, Amy Sonnie and James Tracy, New York: Melville House, 2011; The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism, edited by Dan Berger, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010; Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, Jefferson Cowie, London: The New Press, 2010

in Historical Materialism
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Abstract

Amy Sonnie and James Tracy’s Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power, Dan Berger’s anthology The Hidden 1970s and Jefferson Cowie’s Stayin’ Alive, in different ways, articulate an understanding of the political ferment that gripped the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s and its complex legacy for those struggling to change the world today. While Cowie provides a broad-brush if ultimately flawed overview of labour’s declining influence during the 1970s, Sonnie and Tracy focus their attention on five radical organisations that challenged deep divisions of race to condemn inequality and oppression, and Berger similarly encompasses contributions evaluating the impact of a variety of left organisations including the Puerto Rican nationalist movement, indigenous and Black nationalist quests to establish self-determination, and the extraordinary Sojourner Truth Organization. This review critically evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments made by Sonnie and Tracy, Berger and Cowie and suggests how they may be helpful for future struggle.

Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times, Amy Sonnie and James Tracy, New York: Melville House, 2011; The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism, edited by Dan Berger, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010; Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, Jefferson Cowie, London: The New Press, 2010

in Historical Materialism

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References

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