Joe Queenan is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers. Here is his review of a new book about the 1970s. I was 12 years old when the 1970s opened (on 1 January 1970) and 22 when they closed (on 31 December 1979), so these were my formative years. In case you’re wondering, yes, I streaked. I would tell you the full story, but it would tend to incriminate me. I also wore bell-bottom jeans, complained about gas prices, watched Billie Jean King stomp the shit out of Bobby Riggs, and, at the tender age of 19, voted for Gerald Ford. I hope the author of the book under review discussed Frampton Comes Alive! and Boston, both of which were released in 1976. No history of the 1970s could be complete without a discussion (indeed, a celebration) of these classic albums. Here is my favorite passage from the review:

In “The Great Funk: Falling Apart and Coming Together (on a Shag Rug) in the Seventies,” Thomas Hine, the widely published design critic and author of “Populuxe,” has adopted a cautious, sensible approach to re-evaluating our most maligned decade. Rather than speciously contending that the 1970s were a great period in American history—the way pop historians like to argue that the Huns and the Vandals were classy chaps victimized by negative Roman spin, or that Phil Collins rocks—Hine simply suggests that the ’70s were not as bad as most people think. Conceding that the ’70s were characterized by bad hair, bad clothes, bad music, bad design, bad books, bad politics, bad economics, bad carpeting, bad fabrics and a lot of bad ideas, he reminds us that the decade was nonetheless the spawning ground for many of the attitudes and values that define our society today.

I love this kind of writing. I had tears streaming down my face by the time I finished reading the review.