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Today’s podcast takes up a Pew Research poll showing a majority of Americans believe things were better 50 years ago than they are now. Why would people say this about a time when America was sunk in a losing war, living under wage and price controls, and dealing with Watergate and an oil embargo? And in our new “Commentary Recommends” feature, I make the case you should read Anthony Trollope’s Phineas Finn. Give a listen.
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Fascinating discussion about 1973-2023. I was 15 then, and, as Christine said, I do think there was a greater sense that whatever problems we had we could solve. There wasn’t that flood of apocalyptic information we get now, and as John said, no information silos, so we were all operating from the same set of facts. Yes, it is convenient now to have cell phones, direct deposit, EZ passes for the toll roads, but back then no one knew better so we didn’t feel deprived because we couldn’t sail onto the NYS Thruway without stopping at the booth for a toll ticket. BTW, I wonder how the poll broke down in terms of people who remember 1973 vs. those who do not.
Thanks to John for the book recommendation. I have read a handful of Trollope novels, but not this one. Will definitely get it.
I read Cousin Henry a few years ago, which I really enjoyed. A really interesting book about nothing much happening.