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Francis Parkman Prize for the best book in American history, Society of American Historians

Merle Curti Prize for the Best Book in American Social and Intellectual History, Org of American Historians

Labor History Best Book Prize

Best Book Award from the United Association for Labor Education


Choice 2011 Outstanding Academic Title

Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Best Book in Nonfiction

Finalist for Sidney Hillman Book Journalism Award

"As a work of history, [Stayin’ Alive] might be the most groundbreaking and original national history of a working class since E.P. Thompson’s Making of the English Working Class….this book is required reading for anyone looking to revive working class hopes and alternatives to America’s disastrous love story with capitalism.”

-Steven Colatrella, New Politics​

"If you want to understand how we got here — how the Democrats’ New Deal coalition shattered in the 1970s, and why progressives are still picking the shrapnel out of their political hides — you must read Jefferson Cowie’s Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class….one of the best books of 2010.”

-Joan Walsh,

"…so fresh, fertile and real that the only thing it resembles is itself…You just have to read it. It establishes its author as one of our most commanding interpreters of recent American experience….Cowie’s accomplishment is to convey what this epic cheat felt like from the inside.”

-Rick Perlstein, The Nation

"...the book that gives the best sense of the way that it felt to live through the decade—the confusion, desperation, and anxiety, but also at times the exhilaration—is Jefferson Cowie’s Stayin’ Alive…..Cowie’s book captures the contradictory nature of 1970s politics better than almost any other ever written about the period."

-Kim Phillips-Fein, Dissent

...will long stand as the finest and most sophisticated portrait of politics and culture in the American 1970s, and also as a model for how to talk about both political and cultural transformations without shortchanging either….Cowie makes understanding his goal and condescension his enemy.”

-E.J. Dionne, columnist, Washington Post

"...Its awards are richly deserved. Cowie’s book rests on mountainous research. It is beautifully written, and informed by a deeply humane sensibility. It weaves an elegant narrative of class, culture, and politics that will attract many young scholars to labor history. Indeed, more than any book in recent memory, Stayin’ Alive shows that in the right hands labor history can connect to politically engaged audiences beyond the cloistered precincts of academia, and make for stimulating, even exciting reading...the book resembles another trend-setting tome to which at least one other reviewer has already compared it: E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1963). The comparison is apt....That Cowie’s book merits the comparison in the first place is enough to highlight its astonishing achievement."

-Joseph McCartin, Journal of Social History

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