Back when irony was just a literary device and people wore bell-bottomsfor their own sake, Western civilization reached its zenith and nadirsimultaneously. Jonathan Vankin's Big Book of the '70s looks insurprising depth at the trends and the notable figures of that decade, usingillustrations from dozens of excellent comics artists like Shary Flenniken andTerry Laban. Richard Nixon, Jane Fonda, Burt Reynolds, and Jimmy Carter all getthe Big Book treatment in a delicious combination of behind-the-scenespeeks and easily digested history lessons. Fads and phenomena like disco,running, and the rise of the women's movement are also explained and, in somecases, followed up through modern times. The writing is clear and snappy, theillustration is consistently well-done, and the topics chosen are a thorough,comprehensive mix of lightweight (pet rocks) and serious (Vietnam). --RobLightner
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This mild nostalgia piece takes on the 1970s, continuing the progression of Paradox Press!s Big Book series. Vankin (Conspiracies Cover-Ups and Crimes; The Big Book of Bad) divides the book into four parts: Freaky Fads, The Players, And That!s the Way It Was, and Entertainment Explosion. Each section is further divided into several subsections, with entries on topics such as kung fu, John Lennon, energy crisis, and Sesame Street. Most entries are a few pages long, giving the reader a flavor for the personality or topic but not a great deal of depth. The artwork is primarily playful but in some instances serious; in each case, the art supports the text nicely. There isn!t enough substance here for serious investigation of the 1970s, for the observational pieces are brief and the insights revealed in these sketches are small. Recommended for large public libraries, and academic libraries where cartooning studies are offered."Stephen Weiner, Maynard P.L., MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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