Alice Echols has never shied away from controversy. Long before it was fashionable, she wrote searing critiques of antiporn feminism. Her subsequent books about the 1960s are trenchant and provocative, and written with unflinching honesty. Now she maps an alternative history of contemporary American culture, taking on such subjects as hippies, gay/lesbian and women's liberation, disco and the racial politics of music, and artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell and Lenny Kravitz. Echols upends many of our bedrock assumptions about American culture since the 1950s, challenging in particular the notions that the '60s represented a total rupture with the past and that the '70s marked the end of meaningful change.
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Even when the pieces lack a clear narrative line, Echols scores points with smart critiques of popular culture, such as her look at Joni Mitchell's engagement of race in her music or her critiques of Andrea Dworkin's views on porn.| Read Full Review of Shaky Ground