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THE MAKING OF A NATION 225 - The 1970's & 1980's

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]
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THE MAKING OF A NATION - The 1970's & 1980's

By Jeri Watson


Broadcast: December 26, 2002
VOICE ONE:
This is Rich Kleinfeldt.
VOICE TWO:
And this is Ray Freeman with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a V-O-A Special English program about the


history of the United States. Today, we tell the story about some social and cultural issues of Nineteen-Seventies
and Nineteen-Eighties.

VOICE ONE:
An economics professor from the United States was teaching in Britain in the early Nineteen-Eighties. One of his
students asked this question: "What is most important to Americans these days?" He said: "Earning money.
"


Clearly, his answer was far too simple. Still, many observers would agree that great numbers of Americans in the
Nineteen-Eighties were concerned with money. These people wanted the good life that they believed money
could buy.

VOICE TWO:
In some ways, the Nineteen-Eighties were the opposite of the Nineteen-Sixties.
The Nineteen-Sixties were years of protest and reform. Young Americans demonstrated against the Vietnam


War. African Americans demonstrated for civil rights. Women demonstrated for equal treatment. For many,


society's hero was the person who helped others.
For many in the Nineteen-Eighties, society's hero was the person who helped himself. Success seemed to be
measured only by how much money a person made.


VOICE ONE:
The period of change came during the Nineteen-Seventies. For a while, these years remained tied to the social


experiments and struggles of the Nineteen-Sixties. Then they showed signs of what American would be like in
the Nineteen-Eighties. There were a number of reasons for the change.
One reason was that the United States ended its military involvement in Vietnam. Another was that the civil

rights movement and women's movements reached many of their goals. A third reason was the economy. During
the Nineteen-Seventies, the United States suffered an economic recession. Interest rates and inflation were high.
There was a shortage of imported oil.

VOICE TWO:
As the Nineteen-Seventies moved toward the Nineteen-Eighties,Americans became tired of social struggle. They


became tired of losing money. They had been working together for common interests. Now, many wanted to
spend more time on their own personal interests.
This change appeared in many parts of American society. It affected1 popular culture, education, and politics.
VOICE ONE:



For example, one of the most popular television programs of that time was about serious social issues. It was
called "All in the Family". It was about a factory worker who hates black people and opposes equal rights for
women. His family slowly helps him to accept and value different kinds of people.

Other television programs, however, were beginning to present an escape from serious issues. These included
"Happy Days" and "Three's Company."

Music showed the change, too. In the Nineteen-Sixties, folk music was very popular. Many folk songs were
about social problems. In the Nineteen-Seventies, groups played hard rock and punk music, instead.

VOICE TWO:

Self-help books were another sign that Americans were becoming more concerned about their own lives. These
books described ways to make people happier with themselves. One of the most popular was called I'm Okay,
You're Okay. It was published in Nineteen-Sixty-Nine. It led the way for many similar books throughout the
Nineteen-Seventies.

VOICE ONE:

The Nineteen-Seventies also saw a change in education. In the Nineteen-Sixties, many young people expressed
little interest in continuing their education after four years of study in college. They were busy working for social
reforms. Many believed that more education only created unequal classes of people.

By the middle Nineteen-Seventies, however, more young people decided2 it was acceptable to make a lot of
money. Higher education was a way to get the skills to do this. Law schools and medical schools soon had long
lists of students waiting to get in.

VOICE TWO:

Politically, the United States went through several changes during the Nineteen-Seventies. Theere
were liberal Democratic administrations for most of the Nineteen-Sixties. Then a conservative
Republican, Richard Nixon, was elected. During his second term, President Nixon was forced to
resign because of the Watergate case.
Vice4 President Gerald Ford5 became president after Nixon's resignation. About two years later, he was defeated by
Democrat3 Jimmy Carter. The election showed that Americans were angry with the Republican Party because of
the Watergate case. But they soon became unhappy with President Carter, too. They blamed him for failing to
improve the economy. He lost his campaign for re-election to conservative Republican Ronald Reagan.


VOICE ONE:

The Nineteen-Eighties were called the Reagan years, because he was president for eight of them. During his first
term, the recession ended. Inflation was controlled. He reduced taxes. Americans felt hopeful that they could
make money again.

Observers created several expressions to describe some groups of people at that time. One expression was "the
'me' generation". This described Americans who were only concerned about themselves. Another expression was
"yuppie". It meant "young urban professional". Both these groups seemed as if they lived just to make and spend
money, money, and more money.

Entertainment in the Nineteen-Eighties showed the interest society placed on financial success. The characters in
a number of television programs, for example, lived in costly6 homes, wore costly clothes, and drove costly
automobiles7. They were not at all like average Americans. They lived lives that required huge amounts of money.

Two of these television programs became extremely popular in the United States and in other countries. They
were called "Dallas" and "Dynasty".

VOICE TWO:

At the movie theater, a very popular film was called "Wall Street". It was about a


young, wealthy, dishonest -- powerful -- man who traded on the New York Stock
Exchange. Power was a popular program idea in action films, too. The most
successful action films were about a man called "Rambo". Rambo was impossibly
heroic. Naturally, he always won. The films showed good winning over evil. But
Rambo rejected established rules and was extremely violent.

Another form of entertainment became popular in the Nineteen-Eighties. It was the

television talk show. People appeared on these shows mostly to talk about
themselves: their politics, their families, their sexual relations. They talked in public about things that were once
considered private.

Much of the popular music of the time also showed this new openness. Heavy metal rock groups sang about sex
and drugs. And then there was the new form of music called "rap". In this form,words are spoken, not sung, over
a heavy beat. Many Americans found all these kinds of music to be too shocking, too violent,too lawless, and too
damaging to the human spirit.

VOICE ONE:


People may have talked and sung openly about sex and drugs in the Nineteen-Eighties.
But as the years went by, many became increasingly careful about their own activities.
This was because sex and drugs became deadly. A new disease appeared at that time. It
was called AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome8. The disease spread in several
ways. One was through sexual relations. Another was through sharing the needles used to take illegal drugs.

 

VOICE TWO:

A big change in American life during the Nineteen-Eighties came as a result of the computer. Computers were
invented forty years earlier. They were large machines and were used only at universities, big companies, and in
the military.

By the Nineteen-Eighties, computers had become much smaller.Anyone could learn how to use them, even
children. Millions of Americans soon had a 'personal' computer in their home. They could use it to read
newspaper stories, buy things, do schoolwork, and play games.

Such technological9 improvement -- and a bright economy -- filled Americans of the early and middle Nineteen-
Eighties with hope. Many felt there were almost no limits on the good life they could lead.

VOICE ONE:

This program of THE MAKING OF A NATION was written by Jeri Watson and produced by Paul Thompson.
This is Rich Kleinfeldt.

VOICE TWO:

And this is Ray Freeman. Join us again next week for another V-O-A Special English program about the history
of the United States.


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点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 affected TzUzg0     
adj.不自然的,假装的
参考例句:
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
2 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
3 democrat Xmkzf     
n.民主主义者,民主人士;民主党党员
参考例句:
  • The Democrat and the Public criticized each other.民主党人和共和党人互相攻击。
  • About two years later,he was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter.大约两年后,他被民主党人杰米卡特击败。
4 vice NU0zQ     
n.坏事;恶习;[pl.]台钳,老虎钳;adj.副的
参考例句:
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
5 Ford KiIxx     
n.浅滩,水浅可涉处;v.涉水,涉过
参考例句:
  • They were guarding the bridge,so we forded the river.他们驻守在那座桥上,所以我们只能涉水过河。
  • If you decide to ford a stream,be extremely careful.如果已决定要涉过小溪,必须极度小心。
6 costly 7zXxh     
adj.昂贵的,价值高的,豪华的
参考例句:
  • It must be very costly to keep up a house like this.维修这么一幢房子一定很昂贵。
  • This dictionary is very useful,only it is a bit costly.这本词典很有用,左不过贵了些。
7 automobiles 760a1b7b6ea4a07c12e5f64cc766962b     
n.汽车( automobile的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • When automobiles become popular,the use of the horse and buggy passed away. 汽车普及后,就不再使用马和马车了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Automobiles speed in an endless stream along the boulevard. 宽阔的林荫道上,汽车川流不息。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
8 syndrome uqBwu     
n.综合病症;并存特性
参考例句:
  • The Institute says that an unidentified virus is to blame for the syndrome. 该研究所表示,引起这种综合症的是一种尚未确认的病毒。
  • Results indicated that 11 fetuses had Down syndrome. 结果表明有11个胎儿患有唐氏综合征。
9 technological gqiwY     
adj.技术的;工艺的
参考例句:
  • A successful company must keep up with the pace of technological change.一家成功的公司必须得跟上技术变革的步伐。
  • Today,the pace of life is increasing with technological advancements.当今, 随着科技进步,生活节奏不断增快。
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