Strange Days Indeed: The 1970s : the Golden Age of Paranoia

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PublicAffairs, 2010 - History - 343 pages
40 Reviews
The 1970s were a theme park of mass paranoia. Strange Days Indeed tells the story of the decade when a distinctive “paranoid style” emerged and seemed to infect all areas of both private and public life, from high politics to pop culture. The sense of paranoia that had long fuelled the conspiracy theories of fringe political groups then somehow became the norm for millions of ordinary people. And to make it even trickier, a certain amount of that paranoia was justified. Watergate showed that the governments really were doing illegal things and then trying to cover them up.

Though Nixon may have been foremost among deluded world leaders he wasn’t the only one swept up in the tide of late night terrors. UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson was convinced that the security services were plotting his overthrow, while many of them were convinced he was a Soviet agent. Idi Amin and his alleged cannibalism, the CIA’s role in the Chilean coup, the Jonestown cult, the Indian state of emergency from ’75 to ’77 and more are here turned into a delicious carnival of the deranged—and an eye-opening take on an oft-derided decade—by a brilliant writer with an acute sense of the absurd.

  

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User Review  - Bill_Bibliomane - LibraryThing

Francis Wheen, perhaps best known from Private Eye, or as a stalwart of The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4, is one of those writers who is thoughtful, funny, and entertaining, and this book, an examination ... Read full review

Review: Strange Days Indeed: The 1970s: The Golden Days of Paranoia

User Review  - Derek Baldwin - Goodreads

Reading this very slowly at bedtime: fall asleep after maybe 15 pages, then losing my place, reading 15 again... and only the last 5 were new. The sense of Deja Vu isn't only from this fact though, it ... Read full review

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Contents

The Paranoia Blues
1
Sleepless Nights
20
Stick it to the End Sir
40
Going Underground
63
Madmen in Theory and Practice
96
Going on a Bear Hunt
121
Days of the Jackals
142
Such Harmonious Madness
151
The Road to Ruritania
201
Lords of the Beasts and Fishes
226
Morbid Symptoms
245
In the Jungle Labyrinth
272
Lets Do the Time Warp Again
296
Acknowledgments
312
Notes
313
Index
335

Eternal Vigilance
166
Crossing the Psychic Frontier
185

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About the author (2010)

Francis Wheen is deputy editor of Private Eye and the editor of Lord Gnome's Literary Companion, the author of the bestselling How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World and Karl Marx: A Life, and a former columnist in the London Guardian. He has contributed to Vanity Fair, the Nation, the New Yorker, LA Times, and Washington Post, and has appeared on C-SPAN's Booknotes and National Public Radio.

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