The Great Funk by Thomas Hine
Falling Apart and Coming Together (on a Shag Rug) in the Seventies

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Synopsis

In the sixties, as the nation anticipated the conquest of space, the defeat of poverty, and an end to injustice at home and abroad, no goal seemed beyond America's reach.



Then the seventies arrived--bringing oil shocks and gas lines, the disgrace and resignation of a president, defeat in Vietnam, terrorism at the 1972 Munich Olympics, urban squalor, bizarre crimes, high prices, and a bad economy. The country fell into a great funk.



But when things fall apart, you can take the fragments and make something fresh. Avocado kitchens and Earth Shoes may have been ugly, but they signaled new modes of seeing and being. The first generation to see Earth from space found ways to make life's everyday routines--eating, keeping warm, taking out the trash--meaningful, both personally and globally. And many decided to reinvent themselves.



In Populuxe, a "textbook of consumerism in the Push Button Age" (Alan J. Adler, Los Angeles Times), Thomas Hine scrutinized the looks and life of the 1950s and 1960s, revealing the hopes and fears expressed in that era's design. In the same way, The Great Funk: Falling Apart and Coming Together (on a Shag Rug) in the Seventies maps a complex era by looking at its ideas, feelings, sex, fashions, textures, gestures, colors, demographic forces, artistic expressions, and other phenomena that shaped our lives. Hine gets into the shoes and heads of those who experienced the seventies--exploring their homes, feeling the beat of their music, and scanning the ads that incited their desires.



But The Great Funk is more than a lavish catalogue of seventies culture: it's a smart, informed, lively look at the "Me decade" through the eyes of the man House & Garden called "America's sharpest design critic."


 

About Thomas Hine

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Thomas Hine, the author of four previous books, including "Populuxe" and "The Total Package, " is a writer on culture, history, and design. He is a columnist for "Philadelphia Magazine" and a contributor to the "Atlantic Monthly, Martha Stewart Living, Architectural Record, the Washington Post, the New York Times, " and other publications. He Lives in Philadelphia.
 
Published March 31, 2009 by Sarah Crichton Books. 256 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Great Funk

Kirkus Reviews

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Because the ’70s was a visual decade, both artistically and culturally, it’s the cannily selected photos that will likely cause the casual book browser to stand up and take notice—the 200 movie posters, magazine covers and shots of protesters, streakers and disco-ers help justify the steep cover...

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The New York Times

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He suggests that synthetic fabrics like Quiana (“a kind of nylon made by DuPont that was marketed as an affordable and convenient substitute for silk”) and Ultrasuede (a synthetic used most famously by Halston) became popular in the ’70s because “new ways of standing, lounging, dancing and living...

Dec 04 2007 | Read Full Review of The Great Funk: Falling Apart...

The New York Times

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A design critic reminds us that the ’70s spawned many of the values that define our society today.

Dec 02 2007 | Read Full Review of The Great Funk: Falling Apart...

PopMatters

After all, as Hine reminds us, “the seventies table could be set with intriguingly mismatched plates.” As I sit here in a fabulous new pair of striped, sparkly, 1972 polyester pants and a furry-collared shirt with dachshunds racing across the sleeves, I wonder what my shopping habits say...

Jan 11 2008 | Read Full Review of The Great Funk: Falling Apart...

Daily Kos

The most dominant trend in rock music weren't the alternative forms that grabbed most of Hine's attention, but the fact that rock became big business, stage shows became expensive and elaborate productions, and that the actual music is now being called classic rock.

Dec 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Great Funk: Falling Apart...

http://rebeccasreads.com

Dwight Norris breaches this very topic in his novel, “The Gentleman Host: A Cruise Ship Nightmare.” A gentleman host is a true profession.

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Reader Rating for The Great Funk
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