American Decades Primary Sources: 1970-1979

  • Volume 8
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0787665959
  • ISBN-13: 9780787665951
  • DDC: 973.91
  • Shipping Weight: 5.05 lbs ( 2.29 kgs)
  • 768 Pages | Print | Hardcover
  • © 2004 | Published



The 1970s continued the tumult of the previous decade with new political and social conflicts. While the country remained embroiled in the Vietnam War for the first half of the decade, the Nixon administration found itself sinking under the weight of the Watergate scandal. President Richard Nixon ultimately resigned before he could be impeached for his infractions, but not before he pulled U.S. troops out of Vietnam. The U.S. Supreme Court both pleased and appalled the public, depending on one's opinion of the matter, when it ruled that abortion was legal. A medical, social, and moral controversy surrounded the first test tube baby. By the decade's close, floppy disks were for sale, Microsoft was founded, and Americans had been taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran.

The following documents are just a sampling of the offerings available in this volume:

  • "Born to Run," by Bruce Springsteen
  • Looking Out for Number One by Robert J. Ringer
  • Now is the Time of the Furnaces… And the Light Will be Seen Kent State SDS Flyer, and statements from witnesses to events that led to the deaths of four students
  • Leisure suits -- from the Sears, Roebuck Catalog
  • Yellow Ribbon, the diary of Iran Hostage Crisis survivor Bruce Lanigen
  • U.S. v. Nixon, the case against Richard M. Nixon
  • Self-help books: The Book of est and I'm OK, You're OK
  • "A Personal Report from Ms." an article about the creation of the magazine
  • "A M*A*S*H Note for Docs," commencement speech given by Alan Alda
  • Letter from the Catholic Bishops declaring racism a sin: Brothers and Sisters To Us
  • Article from Scientific American about the Viking mission to Mars
  • Norman Mailer's article on the first fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frasier, 1971



"This carefully crafted new offering from Gale is sure to be a worthy heir to the discontinued classic documentary American history reference source, The Annals of America (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1968-1987),.. Gale's latest contribution to the field is intended to serve as a companion to their popular series, American Decades (Gale Group, 1994-2001) and would complement many of the publisher's other prominent reference works in American history, notably the two-volume stand-alone Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America: Primary Documents (see ARBA 2001, entry 271). This work will also make an ideal companion set for the many libraries that already own The Annals, as this new work offers limited coverage, its entries usually provide essays about and excerpts from primary sources rather than the full text of the sources themselves, it is more comprehensive, and despite some inevitable overlap, its selections are generally different...American Decades: Primary Sources is certain to become the centerpiece of many serious American history reference collections. This new work is so innovative and well done that it may become a classic itself, and at its advertised price of less than $100 for each sturdy, well-designed volume, well worth the investment." --ARBA (2004)


"Aimed at the high-school and undergraduate levels, but definitely accessible to middle-schoolers, this set is a treasure trove of more than 2,000 primary sources on U.S. history and culture represented by more than 75 types of sources, such as architectural drawings, graphs, letters, magazine articles, memoirs, reports, Supreme Court decisions, speeches, and literary works. This resource is excellent as a companion to the American Decades (Gale, 1996-2000) set or as a stand-alone. Even if a library had access to all of the books, periodicals, and other items used as sources, they would lack the surrounding context and the added features, not to mention the convenience. Secondary school libraries in states with curriculum standards that require access to primary resources should place this on their priority purchase lists if they can afford it. Undergraduate and public libraries supporting historical research should also consider purchase."--Booklist (April 2004)

— Booklist

"This set provides access to information that will be difficult to find in other places without a great deal of weeding. It can begin the student thinking critically about events in history. Your students need access to this set, especially if you have American Decades."--Reference for Students ( (May 2004)

— Online