The 1980s

Greenwood Publishing Group
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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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About the author

Bob Batchelor, PhD, is assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University and academic coordinator of its online master's program in public relations. Batchelor is the author or editor of 21 books, including 3 volumes in Greenwood's "Popular Culture through History" series: The 1900s, The 1980s, and The 2000s. In addition, he edited Greenwood's four-volume American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade; Praeger's three-volume Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream; and Praeger's three-volume American History through American Sports.

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

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2007
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Pages
212
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ISBN
9780313330001
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Social History
History / United States / 20th Century
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald produced his third novel, a slim work for which he had high expectations. Despite such hopes, the novel received mixed reviews and lackluster sales. Over the decades, however, the reputation of The Great Gatsby has grown and millions of copies have been sold. One of the bestselling novels of all time, it is also considered one of the most significant achievements in twentieth-century fiction. But what makes Gatsby great? Why do we still care about this book more than eighty-five years after it was published? And how does Gatsby help us make sense of our own lives and times?

In Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel, Bob Batchelor explores the birth, life, and enduring influence of The Great Gatsby—from the book’s publication in 1925 through today’s headlines filled with celebrity intrigue, corporate greed, and a roller-coaster economy. A cultural historian, Batchelor explains why and how the novel has become part of the fiber of the American ethos and an important tool in helping readers to better comprehend their lives and the broader world around them.

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New York Times bestseller—now a major motion picture directed by and starring James Franco!

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Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel not only reveals why Lee developed into such a central figure in American entertainment history, but brings to life the cultural significance of comic books and how the superhero genre reflects ideas central to the American experience. Candid, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, this is a biography of a man who dreamed of one day writing the Great American Novel, but ended up doing so much more—changing American culture by creating new worlds and heroes that have entertained generations of readers.
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