The Great Funk Styles of the Shaggy, Sexy, Shameless 1970s

Thomas Hine

Sarah Crichton Books



Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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The author of the celebration of 1950s and ’60s design Populuxe turns his keen eyes and wit on the most confusing and confused decade of all: the 1970s. Though the country experienced political scandal, war, urban squalor, crime, and inflation, it was through this funk that America and its people were able to reinvent themselves. Some may  embarrassingly look back at the Plaid maxi-dresses and the macarmé, but it was these symbols that signaled new modes of seeing and being. Thomas Hine scrutinizes the looks and life of this complex era, climbing into the heads of those who experienced the ’70s—exploring the design of our homes and our fashions and scanning the ads that set our desires on fire.

The Great Funk is more than a lavish catalog of 1970s culture and design: it’s an original, lively look at the “Me Decade” through the eyes of the man House & Garden has called “America’s sharpest design critic.”


Praise for The Great Funk

“With deliciously detailed descriptions and almost 300 illustrations, The Great Funk captures the shapes, smells and sensibilities of the chaotic and conflicted ‘Me Decade.’”—Glenn C. Altschuler, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“With wit and verve, Thomas Hine aims to reclaim dignity for the 1970s . . . I relished Hine’s taste and style.”—Carlo Wolff, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Nifty observations (particularly with regard to fashion and design)”—The Atlantic Monthly

“Without too much sentimentality or nostalgia, The Great Funk entertainingly explores the complex identity of a decade that embraced the disco ball and the Honda Accord.”—Caitlin Shamberg, Salon

“A richly layered visual record of everything from Earth shoes to pet rocks.”—Publishers Weekly

“Hine displays a simultaneously sincere and ironic affection for the era, and treats the decade’s goofiest icons (e.g., the pet rock, the Ford Pinto, Bobby Riggs v. Billie Jean King) with warmth, humor and reverence . . . It’s the cannily selected photos that will likely cause the casual book browser to stand up and take notice . . . Hine’s photo-and fun-filled bathroom / coffee-table book is just right.”—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

The Great Funk
RUNNING ON EMPTYIf you wanted a world that was orderly, where progress was guaranteed, the seventies were a terrible time to be alive. Cars were running out of gas. The country was running out of promise. A president was run out of office. And American troops were running out of Vietnam.Only a decade before, as the nation anticipated the conquest of space, the defeat of poverty, an end to racism, and a society where people moved faster and felt better than they ever had before, it seemed that there was nothing America couldn't do. Even the protestors of the sixties objected that
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  • Thomas Hine

  • Thomas Hine writes on design, culture, and history. He is the author of five books, including Populuxe. That title, coined by Hine to describe the styles and enthusiasms of post–World War II America, has entered the American idiom and is now included in the American Heritage and Random House dictionaries. From 1973 until 1996, Hine was the architecture and design critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he wrote a weekly column called “Surroundings.” He has worked as an adviser for museums across the country and contributes frequently to magazines, including The Atlantic, Martha Stewart Living, Architectural Record, and others. He lives in Philadelphia.

  • Thomas Hine Arlene Love