Natasha Zaretsky Chapter Summaries

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This nonfiction book reports on the views of Natasha Zaretsky growing up in the 1970s. Natasha Zaretsky provides a useful introduction to major themes of the 1970s-1980s. This book approaches in American studies, tracing how the family was featured in the discourse of various national crises, from the war in Vietnam to the OPEC oil embargo to the troubled celebration of the national bicentennial. The chapters explore the fears that not only shaped an earlier era but throughout the 1970’s, anxieties about the future of the nuclear family, anxieties about the direction of the United States in the military defeat in Vietnam in the midst economic recession. During the 1970s a growing number of Americans interpreted the changes that were taking place in American society…show more content…
Even through, in retrospect, it seems clear that terms like “formative” and “transformational” may have been a more accurate label for the 1970s. The decade set the stage for the United States in succeeding years, such as the intensifying ethnicdiversity, deregulation, increasingly diverse families, the information revolution, and the growth of a “new” economy.The discussions of the POWs is very interesting. I think the argument that POWs become a “synecdoche” for broader cultural anxieties; not only about the apparent decline in American military power, but diminishing male authority within the family. The impact of the war was one of the most tragic in American history. The effects it had on the American people were tremendous. Children of POWs and MIAs suffered from a range of anxiety symptoms, including frequent crying, nightmares, rebelliousness, shyness and nail biting. What was more disturbing to me were the revelations about the pathological psychosexual dynamics between mothers and children (sons in particular) that played out in the absence of the father. Many POW wives, desperate and alone, had grown excessively dependent on their children’s love and as a result had resorted

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