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“Ever to the Right”?: The Political Life of 1776 in the Nixon Era

“Ever to the Right”?: The Political Life of 1776 in the Nixon Era e l ISSA HArber T “e ver to the r ight”? The Political l ife of 1776 in the Nixon e ra The u nited States in the Nixon era (1969–74) was deeply divided politi- cally, mired in the Vietnam War, and tormented by intense separation and mistrust between the younger and older generations. These societal rifts made it rare for a work of popular culture to cut across lines of political and generational difference. Disheartened by the horrific images of the first televised war, many Americans enjoyed escaping into frivolously entertaining television shows, movies, and musicals, even as entertain- ment that engaged with politics risked alienating half of its audience. The odds were slim that a stage or screen production could be deeply political in nature and about the u nited States itself without angering or repelling a large portion of the population. enter 1776, one of the most successful musicals ever written about American history. When 1776 opened at the 46th Street Theatre in the spring of 1969, people on all points of the political spectrum embraced it, from antiestablishment New l eft hippies to right-wing pro–Vietnam War r epublicans, and many in between. It appealed to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

“Ever to the Right”?: The Political Life of 1776 in the Nixon Era

American Music , Volume 35 (2) – Aug 30, 2017

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

e l ISSA HArber T “e ver to the r ight”? The Political l ife of 1776 in the Nixon e ra The u nited States in the Nixon era (1969–74) was deeply divided politi- cally, mired in the Vietnam War, and tormented by intense separation and mistrust between the younger and older generations. These societal rifts made it rare for a work of popular culture to cut across lines of political and generational difference. Disheartened by the horrific images of the first televised war, many Americans enjoyed escaping into frivolously entertaining television shows, movies, and musicals, even as entertain- ment that engaged with politics risked alienating half of its audience. The odds were slim that a stage or screen production could be deeply political in nature and about the u nited States itself without angering or repelling a large portion of the population. enter 1776, one of the most successful musicals ever written about American history. When 1776 opened at the 46th Street Theatre in the spring of 1969, people on all points of the political spectrum embraced it, from antiestablishment New l eft hippies to right-wing pro–Vietnam War r epublicans, and many in between. It appealed to

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 30, 2017

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