- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Jonathan YardleyThus the way to read 1973 Nervous Breakdown is to ignore the attempts at pigeon-holing and concentrate on Killen's broader arguments. Two of them strike me as especially sound. One is that, during this time, "American youth was perceived as under assault, alarmingly fragile, in need of increasingly extreme forms of intervention." Killen seizes on Patricia Hearst and the emotions her abduction aroused as emblematic of this, and perhaps he's right: "This story offered itself up to the American public as the consummate account of snapping: a cautionary tale about the radical transformation of the self under the influence of a powerful cult of personality and action." Many young Americans were "vulnerable to strange belief-systems" -- Moonies, Hare Krishnas, extreme fundamentalist Christian groups -- making this a matter of great concern to parents and authorities. The astonishing popularity of the film "The Exorcist," with its nightmares of demonic possession, was evidence of both the fascination and the apprehension that this phenomenon aroused.
— The Washington Post