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The 1980s

Overview

The eighties are seen by many as a time of excess and extremes. From Boy George to Madonna, metal heads to valley girls, and workout clothes to shoulder pads, many pushed the boundaries of what was was conventional. After a decade of war, disillusionment of the government, advances in civil rights, and disco, Americans became status seekers and shopaholics and the Me generation was born. Twelve narrative chapters describe the decade of decedence and its impact on popular culture including: the AIDS epidemic, ...

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Overview

The eighties are seen by many as a time of excess and extremes. From Boy George to Madonna, metal heads to valley girls, and workout clothes to shoulder pads, many pushed the boundaries of what was was conventional. After a decade of war, disillusionment of the government, advances in civil rights, and disco, Americans became status seekers and shopaholics and the Me generation was born. Twelve narrative chapters describe the decade of decedence and its impact on popular culture including: the AIDS epidemic, preppies, Miami Vice, the Rubik's Cube, E.T., hair bands, the advent of the personal computer, malls, Ronald Reagan, Pac-Man, Cheers, Stephen King, Michael Jackson, the shuttle Challenger explosion, Bonfire of the Vanities, music videos, Roseanne, the power suit, Less Than Zero, rap music, and The Cosby ShoW, among many others.

Chapters on Everyday America and the World of Youth describe the important changes in American society, from Ronald Reagan's War on Drugs, to latch-key kids, to Black Monday. The following ten chapters explore the many aspects of popular culture-everything from advertising to fashion, literature to music, travel to the visual arts-that influenced Americans in the eighties. Supplemental resources include a timeline of important events, an extensive bibliography for further reading and a subject index.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Batchelor and Stoddart present a historical and analytical overview of the 1980s, discussing life during the period (especially government, business, and economy) and youth culture, with the most attention to popular culture. Brief chapters cover advertising, architecture, fashion, food, leisure activities, literature, music, performing arts, travel, and the visual arts. The book is meant for general readers."

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Reference & Research Book News

Library Journal - BookSmack!
With Ronald Reagan presiding, the Eighties seemed taken with fads. This not-so-pleasant trip down memory lane reminds readers that popular is a distinctly subjective term. My formative teen years were influenced by fads that I didn't enjoy then and still don't today. Be it food (quiche), fashion (pastels, ripped jeans), literature (Stephen King), leisure (the Jane Fonda workout), music (Madonna, Tina Turner, Jocko, George Michael, hair metal), or movies and TV (Dirty Dancing; Flashdance; Dallas), there's a lot not to like. ." Douglas Lord, "Books for Dudes," Booksmack! 10/7/10
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313330001
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2006
  • Series: American Popular Culture Through History Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 553,817
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

BOB BATCHELOR teaches Public Relations in the School of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida in Tampa. A noted popular culture expert, Bob is the author of The 1900s (Greenwood Press, 2002); editor of Basketball in America: From the Playgrounds to Jordan's Game and Beyond (2005); and co-author with Thomas Heinrich of Kotex, Kleenex, and Huggies: Kimberly-Clark and the Consumer Revolution in American Business (2004).

SCOTT F. STODDART is the Dean of Academic Affairs at Manhattanville College, where he currently teaches courses in cinema and musical theatre history.

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