Killen, Andreas

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Killen, Andreas


Male. Education: Reed College, B.A.;New York University, M.A., Ph.D.


Office—Department of History, NAC 5/134, City College of New York, 138th St. and Convent Ave., New York, NY 10031.E-mail—[email protected].


City College of the City University of New York, New York, assistant professor of history.


Andrew Mellon fellowship,University of California, Los Angeles; visiting fellow,Max Planck Institute; National Science Foundationgrant.


1973 Nervous Breakdown: Watergate, Warhol, and the Birth of Post-Sixties America, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.

Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves, and German Modernity, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including the Journal of Contemporary History, Salon, and the New York Timesmagazine.


Andreas Killen teaches and writes about history, including contemporary history, in such works as 1973 Nervous Breakdown: Watergate, Warhol, and the Birth of Post-Sixties America. Here, Killen describes 1973 as being "a cultural watershed, a moment of major realignments and shifts in American politics, culture, and society." Hollywood Reporter reviewer Gregory McNamee noted how "a dozen documentaries lie inside Killen's pages."

Among the events Killen covers are the death of baseball great Roberto Clemente, Watergate (the burglary that occurred the year before and the Senate hearings for which took place the year after), Roe vs. Wade, and the Arab oil embargo. He recalls one year through its politics, music, art, and television programs such as An American Family. Events include the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Killen studies films, too, including American Graffiti and The Exorcist, and the literature of the year, including Erica Jong's Fear of Flying and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. He considers the art ofAndy Warhol, whose fame derived from his depictions of soup cans and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe.Library Journal contributor Thomas A. Karel observed: "The result is a high-definition snapshot, both nostalgic and perceptive, of a transitional time."

A Kirkus Reviews critic felt that Killen sees 1973 "as a harbinger of our times in the matter of belief, charting the rise not just of Me Decade cults such as est but also of fundamentalist Christianity." Killen notes the rise of cults that included the Children of God and the Moonies, and he offers his view that "American youth was perceived as under assault, alarmingly fragile, in need of increasingly extreme forms of intervention." Jonathan Yardley commented in theWashington Post Book World that "Killen seizes on Patricia Hearst and the emotions her abduction aroused as emblematic of this, and perhaps he's right."



Booklist, March 15, 2006, Donna Seaman, review of1973 Nervous Breakdown: Watergate, Warhol, and the Birth of Post-Sixties America, p. 20.

Hollywood Reporter, May 8, 2006, Gregory McNamee, review of 1973 Nervous Breakdown,p. 11.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2006, review of 1973 Nervous Breakdown, p. 122.

Library Journal, April 1, 2006, Thomas A. Karel, review of 1973 Nervous Breakdown, p. 107.

Publishers Weekly, January 30, 2006, review of 1973 Nervous Breakdown, p. 51.

Washington Post Book World, April 30, 2006, Jonathan Yardley, review of 1973 Nervous Breakdown, p. 2.


City College of New York Web site, (July 3, 2006), brief biography of Killen.

New York Observer Online, 8, 2006), Mark Feeney, review of 1973 Nervous Breakdown.