By Jeremy Black

Pink states as opposed to blue states. Metro as opposed to unfashionable. North or South, East or West. Pundits, politicians, and social scientists like to carve out different types in an try and make experience of political and social divisions that run during the American panorama. because the domestic of approximately three hundred million humans unfold over nearly 3.7 million sq. miles of earth, the USA poses a enormous problem to all who try and grapple with its wealthy and immensely complicated actual and social geography. Acclaimed British historian Jeremy Black tackles this problem via a literal and metaphorical street journey throughout America’s actual and historic landscapes, reading the ways in which occasions in American historical past and tradition due to the fact that 1960 have remade the geography and demographics of America. Black works from the startling premise that the USA is a continent pretending to be a rustic. He examines the cultural clashes—and the stressful harmony—between the various local cultures uneasily contained in the usa’ huge bounds. Suburban sprawl, the triumph of consumerism, the conflict over well-being care, immigration, and Christian evangelicalism all play a component in those pages, as Black unravels the tangled net of yankee existence in past times forty-five years. He locates such tensions within the tug-of-war among the unitary and divisive pressures that experience consistently outlined the nature of yank executive, and within the alternating upward push and fall of individualism and conformity in American society as well.  Black additionally has a few telling new reflections on America’s function in a foreign country, from Nixon’s Vietnam to George W. Bush's Iraq.Drawing on travels from Virginia to California to Alaska, Black deftly unearths in Altered States the less-examined elements of yankee tradition as they're manifested in its assorted peoples and landscapes from coast to coast. (20060301)

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Extra resources for Altered States: America Since the Sixties (Reaktion Books - Contemporary Worlds)

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Parking attracted entrepreneurial activity (as well as corruption), and also played a major role in planning and in development battles. The scale of cars meanwhile was increased by the popularity of suvs (Sports Utility Vehicles), which are allowed by federal regulations to be less fuel efficient than other cars (as well as being far more dangerous to pedestrians). Their growing popularity in the 1990s ensured that average fuel economy for cars did not show the improvement it had displayed in the 1970s and ’80s, when, in part as a result of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy legislation, it rose from 14 miles per gallon in 1974 to 22 miles per gallon in 1986, leading to a fall in oil use, a marked decline in oil imports and the weakness of opec.

Furthermore, in place of factories, or mines, that had large labour forces, most modern American industrial concerns are capitalintensive and employ less labour. They are located away from the central areas of cities, on flat and relatively open sites with good road links. There was a comparable shift in docks, away from city anchorages, for example in New York and San Francisco, to large, new, ‘greenfield’ container ports that employed far less labour – and were far from the trade-union problems of established docks.

It proved difficult, however, to make environmentalism a largescale populist aspect of mainstream politics, in part because such concern was generally presented as opposed to growth, a crucial goal in public discussion, as well as a restriction on individual freedom. Green political activism remained very weak in comparison, for example, with Germany. ’ campaign added an interesting strain of religious environmentalism, which testified to the strength of religion in American culture. Regional political cultures also played a role, environmentalism being seen as a goal in the North-East and as a distraction, if not effete selfindulgence, by many in the South and the West, and in Mid-Western states, such as Indiana, that shared much of their ethos.

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