1973 marked the end of the 1960s and the birth of a new cultural sensibility. A year of shattering political crisis, 1973 was defined by defeat in Vietnam, Roe v. Wade, the oil crisis and the Watergate hearings. It was also a year of remarkable creative ferment. From landmark movies such as The Exorcist, Mean Streets, and American Graffiti to seminal books such as Fear of Flying and Gravitys Rainbow, from the proto-punk band the New York Dolls to the first ever reality TV show, The American Family, the cultural artifacts of the year reveal a nation in the middle of a serious identity crisis. 1973 Nervous Breakdown offers a fever chart of a year of uncertainty and change, a year in which post-war prosperity crumbled and modernism gave way to postmodernism in a lively and revelatory analysis of one of the most important periods in the second half of the 20th century.