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.