American Fads

Richard A. Johnson, Author Beech Tree Paperback Book $0 (174p) ISBN 978-0-688-04903-4
Johnson, a Michigan journalist who has received awards for investigative and environmental reporting, here surveys 40 famous fadsfrom swallowing goldfish during the '30s to collecting Cabbage Patch Kids in the '80s. Underlying most fads is marketing know-how, Johnson comments, ""an `only in America' entrepreneurial success story''such as Richard James and his Slinky (inspired by a torsion coil falling off a shelf) and the Pet Rock that made substitute teacher Gary Dahl a millionaire. Three chapters detail separate successes (Hula Hoop, Frisbee, Super Ball) marketed by a single company, Wham-O. Others are spontaneously generated, such as streaking, eating glass, tie-dyeing and phone-booth packing. Johnson's research has made this a delightfully nostalgic and unusually entertaining read. December
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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