Tomboys, Pretty Boys and Outpoken Women: The Media Revolution of 1973

Paperback
Contemporary American media is awash with reality programs, faux documentaries, and user generated content. When did this fixation on real or feigned nonfictionality begin? Tomboys, Pretty Boys, and Outspoken Women argues that its origins can be found in the early 1970s, when American media discovered the entertainment value of documentaries, news programming, and other nonfiction forms. Edward D. Miller challenges preconceptions of the '60s and '70s through close readings of key events and important figures in the early 1970s: John Dean's performance in front of the Senate during the Watergate Hearings; Billie Jean King popularizing tennis by taking on Bobby Riggs in a prime-time match; David Bowie experiencing outer space in his tours across America; An American Family and their gay son facing the public's consternation; and Alison Steele, a female DJ who invited listeners to fly with her at night. Miller explores the early 1970s as a turning point in American culture, with nonfiction media of the time creating new possibilities for expressions of gender and sexuality, and argues that we are living in its aftermath.