In American and Western European popular memory, the 1970s—sandwiched between the ferment of the 1960s and the shifting political structure of the 1980s, characterized by Cold War rivalries and by economic and social crises—were a decade spent in the doldrums.
But, a new book argues, to adopt this limited view is to overlook key international changes that took place during the 1970s.
You can learn more about this international reconsideration of traditional postwar history on Wednesday afternoon, when Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs will host a special event focusing on The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective. The book’s editors, Erez Manela, Niall Ferguson, Charles S. Maier, and Daniel Sargent, will take part in a discussion moderated by Lizabeth Cohen.
The compelling and original essays in The Shock of the Global take up topics ranging from China’s economic transformation to changes in international finance to the eradication of smallpox to the social implications of rock music. Together, these pieces present an unprecedentedly international account of the 1970s.
Soviet-American détente, it emerges in this new account, was not the most profound or enduring change of the decade. Instead, international developments over the course of the 1970s gave rise to a host of large-scale economic, political, and societal changes— the growth of transnational financial markets and trade, the rise of human rights, the growing international influence of NGOs and protest movements— that in turn created the new, more globalized world that we inhabit today.
Date: March 31, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm