Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Great Funk

The Great Funk

Styles of the Shaggy, Sexy, Shameless 1970s

Thomas Hine

Sarah Crichton Books



Trade Paperback

Avocado kitchens! Shag rugs! Dacron leisure suits! Earth shoes!

At long last, the author of the beloved celebration of 1950s and '60s design Populuxe turns his sights on that most confusing and confused decade of all: the 1970s.

The '70s were tough, man. The president resigned; we lost a war; there were gas lines, urban squalor, bizarre crimes, and soaring inflation. The country fell into a great funk. But when things fall apart, you can take the fragments and make something fresh. Plaid maxi-dresses and macramé may have been ugly, but they signaled new modes of seeing and being. The 1970s were all about reinvention.

In The Great Funk, Thomas Hine scrutinizes the looks and life of this complex era, climbing into the heads (and platform shoes!) 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 a brilliantly original, wonderfully lively look at the "Me Decade" through the eyes of the man House & Garden has called "America's sharpest design critic."


The Great Funk

If 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....


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

“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

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

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

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

“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

Populuxe throws the reader into a wonderful time machine, conjuring up the mood of the day, as well as its distinctive look . . . Mr. Hine's text is so lively and informative that Populuxe must surely stand as one of the most sprightly cultural histories to come along in a long time.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times on Populuxe

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

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