New York Times: The Times of the Eighties

The Culture, Politics, and Personalities that Shaped the Decade

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Regular Price $29.95

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On Sale

Jun 4, 2013

Page Count

336 Pages




From our nation’s best source of in-depth daily reporting comes this sweeping retrospective of the news, culture, and personalities of the decade of the 1980s, as told through hundreds of handselected articles and compelling original commentary in this unique and fascinating book.

There is no better record of history than the archives of The New York Times. Now, more than 200 articles from the great decade of the 1980s are culled from these archives and carefully curated, by editor and Times writer William Grimes, to create one complete, compelling, historical and nostalgic collection.

Organized by sections such as politics, business, science & health, sports, arts & entertainment, food, obituaries, and more, The Times of the Eighties covers the biggest stories that shaped the 1980s. Articles include coverage of historic events like Wall Street’s “Black Monday,” the Iran-Contra scandal, Tiananmen Square, the Challenger disaster, the Human Genome Project, the collapse of communism, and the introduction of the personal computer by IBM; cultural highlights like the launch of MTV, Ted Turner’s establishment of CNN, the Cabbage Patch doll craze, reviews of movies like E.T., Terminator, Raging Bull, and Tootsie, and features on musicians like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, U2, Wham, Blondie, and more; plus pieces on personalities like Mikhail Gorbachev, Princess Diana, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Pete Rose, Bill Cosby, and more.

The stories are penned by well-known Times writers like William Safire, Frank Rich, Anna Quindlen, Serge Schmemann, Russell Baker, Nan C. Robertson, Thomas L. Friedman, Linda Greenhouse, Bill Keller, Clyde Haberman, Paul Goldberger, Francis X. Clines, John Noble Wilford, Nicholas Kristof, Fox Butterfield, John Rockwell, Anthony Lewis, and many more.

Grimes guides readers through the articles he’s selected with commentary that puts the stories into historical context and explores the impact that these events and individuals eventually had on the future.

Hundreds of color photographs from the Times and other sources illuminate the stories throughout.

What's Inside

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Packed with selected news and features covering politics, global events, fashion, sports, science, technology, health, lifestyle, and the arts, this selection of pieces from the morgue of the New York Times, with new commentary by Times obituary writer Grimes, brings the 1980s back to those who remember them and gives a great sense of the decade for those who don't. Here are major events chronicled, as they happened, from the eruption of Mount St. Helens to the Challenger explosion to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Readers witness the birth of personal computing, liposuction, CNN, and crazes such as Rubik's Cubes and Cabbage Patch dolls, as well as advances in genetics and the development of psychiatric drugs. Everyone will recognize the role that newspapers played, before the advent of the Internet and social media, in shaping our understanding of the world around us. While the book covers the major themes of the decade, it is not a source for the Times's longform investigative journalism of that decade.

VERDICT A solid volume of contextualized primary-source material for dipping into. Ideal for stimulating cross-generational and classroom discussion or for just plain reminiscing. The forthcoming title The Times of the Seventies, edited and with commentary by Clyde Haberman, is also likely to be wclcome.

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