America Since the Sixties
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Black works from the startling premise that the United States is a continent pretending to be a country. He examines the cultural clashes—and the tense harmony—between the numerous regional cultures uneasily contained within the United States’ wide bounds. Suburban sprawl, the triumph of consumerism, the war over health care, immigration, and Christian evangelicalism all play a part in these pages, as Black unravels the tangled web of American life during the past forty-five years. He locates such tensions in the tug-of-war between the unitary and divisive pressures that have always defined the character of American government, and in the alternating rise and fall of individualism and conformity in American society as well. Black also has some telling new reflections on America’s role abroad, from Nixon’s Vietnam to George W. Bush's Iraq.
Drawing on travels from Virginia to California to Alaska, Black deftly reveals in Altered States the less-examined aspects of American culture as they are manifested in its diverse peoples and landscapes from coast to coast.