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Rock Me on the Water: 1974 The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television And Politics Hardcover – 2 June 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 269 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : HarperCollins US (2 June 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 006289921X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062899217
  • Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.48 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 269 ratings

Product description


"Brownstein paints Los Angeles in 1974 as a kind of patchouli-scented version of Florence during the Renaissance, bursting with creative energy in television, movies and music. From Joni Mitchell to Archie Bunker, a year of cultural ferment is presented here in all its richness."--New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice

"Convincing. . . . The book truly sparks to life."--PopMatters

Sweeping cultural history. . . . Enriched by interviews with the period's luminaries, including Warren Beatty and Linda Ronstadt, this astute and wide-ranging account shows how L.A. led the U.S. into an era when the 1960s counterculture became mainstream.--Publishers Weekly

"In his brilliant cultural history, Rock Me on the Water, Brownstein drops enough names to fill the once-massive Los Angeles phone book (remember those?), elicits memorable moments from several entertainment industries, and recalls political machinations across decades."--Los Angeles Review of Books


"I'm absolutely loving Rock Me on the Water, Ron Brownstein's riveting new book about L.A., circa '74, when the City of Angels was the hub of an extraordinary revolution in film, music, culture and politics. Really a fun read. Highly recommended!!"--David Axelrod, Senior Political Commentator, CNN

"More than just summarizing or reviewing what such films and shows were about, the author dives deep into how they were created, financed, promoted and received. His many interviews with actors, writers, directors and executives of that era lend such renderings veracity and energy."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"My friend and CNN colleague Ron Brownstein has written a terrific book. Rock Me on The Water tells the amazing story of 1974 and how it changed the U.S. If you're old enough to have lived through 1974, it will bring back memories. If you're too young, you will learn a lot."--Wolf Blitzer, anchor of The Situation Room, CNN

"One of the very best on 1974 -- a hinge of cultural history for American TV, movies & music. All in his new book Rock Me on The Water."--Major Garrett, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News

"Ron Brownstein has written a truly terrific book! I moved to LA in Jan. 1974 when this story opens but it is about so much more than a city. It is insider scoops of pop culture leading us out of Nixon, as it will lead us out of Trump. I should be working but can't stop reading."--John W. Dean, CNN contributor and former Nixon White House Counsel

"This is a terrific book about a pivot-point in US cultural history, which led to reshaping our political landscape. Ron Brownstein is a dadgum genius. Highly recommend this book."--Paul Begala, CNN contributor and former counselor to President Clinton

"Timely and relevant." --She Reads

"What Brownstein has done is expertly knit the scenes together, giving the reader a plus-one invite to the heady world of Hollywood parties, jam sessions and pitch meetings, as well as a pointed demonstration of how culture can be made and unmade."--New York Times

Brownstein knits together the threads of history to show that, for the first time in 1974, politics and entertainment were not separate things, that the line between the two was blurred almost to the point of irrelevance. An insightful, expertly written book.--Booklist

An endlessly engaging cultural history that will resonate with anyone alive in 1974.--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Brownstein's kaleidoscopic account of a historic generational transformation that took place in American culture, American politics, and American life in the crucible of modern Los Angeles during the magical year of 1974. It encapsulates in compelling detail the moment when young people and young ideas were moving in on an older generation, based on the strength of new-found creativity and idealism. It documents the triumphs and failures of that new generation with vividness, humor, and, most of all, deep understanding. Running through every page is the author's deep love for his adopted home. A beautiful ride through an unforgettable time.--Jon Landau

"One of the sharpest analysts of American politics, Ron Brownstein in Rock Me on the Water offers a fresh, vivid and insightful look at how politics and popular culture intertwined to reshape American life at a moment of profound generational transition -- LA in the early 1970s. It's an electric story filled with gripping personalities, compelling backstage histories, and a clear message for the divided America of today: the forces that fear change can win for a time, but in America the future always gets the last word. A lyrical recreation of a magical moment."--Jake Tapper

Rock Me On The Water documents the high-octane storybook world of Los Angeles in 1974 with masterful intimacy and fearless cultural analysis. His well-rendered portraits of Jackson Browne, Linda Rondstadt, Joni Mitchell, David Geffen and other luminaries of the time are sublime. This is an extremely kinetic historical document, and a testament to Brownstein's lasting importance as both a fact-driven journalist and elegant prose-stylist. A must read!--Douglas Brinkley, author of American Moonshot

About the Author

Ronald Brownstein, a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of presidential campaigns, is a National Journal contributing editor and a senior editor at The Atlantic. Prior to joining Atlantic Media, Brownstein was the national affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has also served as the Times' national political correspondent and the author of the weekly Washington Outlook column. Brownstein is a National Journal alumnus, having served as the magazine's White House and national politics correspondent from 1983-1986, and then as its west coast correspondent through 1989. In addition, he currently serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and also served as an electoral analyst for ABC News during the 2012 election. His most recent book, The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America, was published by Penguin in November 2007.

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David Shulman
3.0 out of 5 stars Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll and too Much Politics
Reviewed in the United States on 8 April 2021
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Gloria J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & Interesting!
Reviewed in the United States on 27 March 2021
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Ann M. Rhodes
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste.
Reviewed in the United States on 2 April 2021
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F. Knoll
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Bad
Reviewed in the United States on 16 April 2021
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Thomas J. Farrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Celebrating Certain Values from the 1960s and Early 1970s
Reviewed in the United States on 17 April 2021
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