The 1970s—that era of fuel shortages and economic “stagflation”—is not normally the subject of nostalgia (That ’70s Show! notwithstanding), but perhaps it should be. According to researchers at Fordham University, the U.S. enjoyed a high rate of “social health” from 1970 to 1976.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors is trying to find out what people want in a newspaper. It is worried about declines in readership—78 percent of adults read newspapers in 1970, compared to 55 percent last year. So far, it appears people want better service, more local news, reader-friendly presentations (graphics and narrative-style articles), and advertising.
The landmark Medicare drug bill passed by Congress last month has something in it for almost everyone to complain about. Senator Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.), who led the Democratic opposition to the bill, thinks it moves too much toward privatization.
Backed by conservative Christians, the Florida legislature and Florida Governor Jeb Bush jumped into the case of Terri Schiavo, the 39-year-old women in a vegetative state since 1990. Her husband and legal guardian, Michael, claims Terri had expressed the desire not to have unusual measures used to keep her alive, and so he asked for her feeding tube to be removed.
Did a politically shrewd and theologically sophisticated Polish pope trigger the collapse of communism? Did an energetic and telegenic southern evangelist foster the resurgence of evangelical Christianity in the post–World War II era? These are extreme claims to make for any person.
The United States is deeply divided regionally when it comes to violence, gun possession and the death penalty. Dividing the country into 11 different “nations” based on the predominant origins of its inhabitants and the resulting culture, Colin Woodard says Yankeedom (his label for the Northeast) and the Left Coast are most open to gun control and abolition of the death penalty. The Deep South, Appalachia, Tidewater and Far West regions contain the most adamant supporters of the Second Amendment and capital punishment, and they also have the highest rate of murders. If the deadlock between these two extremes is ever to be broken, it will come about through swing voters in the middle states (Tufts magazine, Fall).