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Best Books About the 80s

cover of Back to Our Future book by David Sirota

There are many ways to relive the 1980s if you’ve been missing the decade a lot. You can watch the Stranger Things series or maybe watch all the films of John Hughes. You can also listen to your favorite 80s songs, bands, and artists during your free time or while working. Aside from those, another way for you to reminisce about the 80s is by reading books.

There are many books out there that can tell you all about the different things and trends in the 1980s. It’s also great to read them if you’re looking for information about the 80s for your school project, or if you’re just curious about it. This is why we are giving you a list of the best books about the 80s that you might want to add to your reading list. 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Great 1980s Sports Moments: The players, games and teams that defined a generation

Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s

What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today's Workplace: Unexpected business lessons from ten of the great 80s movies that defined a generation (Mix Tape #1)

People: Celebrate the 80's

Songs of the 1980s: The New Decade Series with Online Play-Along Backing Tracks

The Reagan Era: A History of the 1980s

American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/America)

The Ultimate History of the '80s Teen Movie: Fast Times at Ridgemont High ~ Sixteen Candles ~ Revenge of the Nerds ~ The Karate Kid ~ The Breakfast ... Poets Society ~ and Everything in Between

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything

Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Early 1980s (A Schiffer Book for Collectors & Designers)

Horror Films of the 1980s,( VOL. 1 & 2 )

Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Mid-1980s

1. Great 1980s Sports Moments

Great 1980s Sports Moments: The Players, Games, and Teams that Defined a Generation is a book written by Dan Flaherty. This book shares an in-depth look at the entire 80s decade. You’ll be able to read here sports moments that seemed to have happened just yesterday, to moments that time forgot. Some of the topics included are about the epic Miracle on Ice, the NCAA basketball championship games, historic moments in horse racing, the greatest college football games of the 80s, and so much more. This is a wonderful book for sports lovers who’d like to know about the sports moments that happened in the 80s. 

2. Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?

Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s is a book written by Brian Bellmont and Gael Fashingbauer Cooper. This book will take you back in time to the tastes and sounds of childhood in the 70s and 80s when Pop Rocks was the quintessence of candy science. If you’re from the 80s and you’ve been thinking about what happened to the toys and trends of your youth, then this book will answer that. It is also a wonderful gift to your friends, who also grew up in the 70s or 80s.

3. What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace

What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace: Unexpected Business Lessons from Ten of the Great 80s Movies that Defined a Generation (Mix Tape #1) is a book written by Chris Clews. In this book, you will be able to find the unexpected business lessons in ten of the classic 80s movies. You’ll see that the movie characters taught us about business, workplace, careers, and ourselves as well. This is a fun book to read, and it can come in handy if you want to inspire your team or if you’re looking for ways on how to motivate and train new employees.

4. People: Celebrate the ‘80s

People: Celebrate the ‘80s is a book by the editors of People Magazine. This book will take you on a trip down memory lane as it includes stars, fads, and 80s moments you will never forget. You will be able to read here about the stars in popular movies such as Sixteen Candles and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and lots of other 80s moments that you’d surely want to remember. It is an entertaining book that all the people who grew up in the 80s will love. 

5. Songs of the 1980s: The New Decade Series

Songs of the 1980s: The New Decade Series isa songbook by Hal Leonard Corp. Aside from being a songbook, it also doubles as a time capsule because it was able to preserve more than 80 of the ‘80s best-arranged backing tracks. With this book, you’ll be able to access the tracks online and play like a pro. Some of the wonderful songs that this songbook includes are. “The Wind Beneath My Wings”, “Take My Breath Away”, “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, and many more.

6. The Reagan Era: A History of the 1980s

The Reagan Era: A History of the 1980s is written by Doug Rossinow. In this book, the author takes the full measure of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and as well as the ideology of “Reaganism”. He links current trends in economic inequality to the policies and social developments of the Reagan era. This book will give you a vital perspective on a decade that dramatically changes the American landscape. Some of the topics it tackles are about the widening gender gap, Reagan’s tax cuts, the era’s Wall Street scandals, and many more. If you’d like to know about the things that happened during the Reagan Era, then this is an excellent book for you. 

7. American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations

American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations is written by Stephen Prince. American cinema, during the 1980s, underwent huge transformations. Aside from that, the growth of home video led to new opportunities for independent film production as well, which resulted in lots of fantastic films in the decade. This book by Prince brings together original essays by ten respected scholars in the field. It examines the films that marked the decade, including Batman, Fatal Attraction, Blue Velvet, Blade Runner, and more. If you’re into the 1980s films, then this book is perfect for you.

8. The Ultimate History of the ’80s Teen Movie

Film expert James King writes this book.It will provide you with the scenes of a genre where cult hits mingled with studio blockbusters. When giants such as Coppola and Spielberg rubbed shoulders with baby-faced first timers, and where superstars Tom, Demi, and Sean got their big break. This book highlights the personal struggles, social changes, and boardroom shake-ups that produced an iconic time in movie history. Some of the 80s teen movies featured in this book are, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Sixteen Candles”, “Revenge of the Nerds”, “The Karate Kid”, “The Breakfast Poets Society”, and “Everything in Between.”

9. Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

Mad World is a book by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein. It is an oral history of the New Wave music sensation of the 1980s. It features interviews with 35 of the most popular artists in the 80s such as New Order, Spandau Ballet, INXS, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, Adam Ant, Echo, and the Bunnymen and Devo. In each chapter of this book, you can read discussions about the artists’ most popular songs and as well as the histories of their songs. This is a great book for the fans of 80s music.

10. Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now

Back to Our Future is a book by David Sirota, a New York Times bestselling journalist. This book will let you travel back in time and reveal so many of the present-day conflicts which are rooted in the larger-than-life pop culture of the 1980s. It talks about Wall Street scandals, issues about taxes, racial resentments, and so much more. This book is like a warning for our distressed present and possible future. 

11. Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Early 1980s

This is a Schiffer Book for Collectors and Designers by Tina Skinner. If you’re a fan of the 1980s fashion, then you will love this book. It shows everyday clothes of the everyday American consumer of the early 1980s. It contains lots of pictures that portray clothing from the 80s such as puffy sleeved sweaters, jacket dresses, and corduroy suits. This book can also help you explore the outfits worn by men and women when they showed up for the disco in the 80s. This book is indeed a wonderful resource for fashion historians and also a great guide for those who want to start collecting the fashions of the 1980s. 

12. Horror Films of the 1980s

If you’re a fan of horror films, then this book by John Kenneth Muir is perfect for you. Horror Films of the 1980s features an informative guide to 300 films from the 80s. Some of them are Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, The Children and The Boogens. This book explains the scope of the 80s horror films, and it also offers a history that draws equivalents between current events and the nightmares recounting on cinema screens.

Each film included in this book is discussed with detailed credits, a short synopsis, commentary, and as well as notes on the film’s heritage beyond the 80s if applicable. Muir also includes in this book his ranking of the 15 best 80s horror films. 

13. Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs: Mid-1980s

Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs is a book by Tammy Ward. It is an ongoing Sears catalog series which continues with a look at the mid-1980s. It contains about 400 colored images showing the fashions and distinctive styles worn during the 80s. With this book, you can test yourself how many clothes of the same style you remember wearing. Some of the clothes featured are trendy again today and some will take you to a walk down memory lane. If you’re looking for 80s fashion inspirations, this is a nice book for you. 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

American Culture in the 1980s (Twentieth Century American Culture EUP)

Mr. Trivia Presents: The Crazy 80s: Test Your Memory of the Greatest Decade Ever

Exploring America in the 1980s: Living in the Material World

TV Family Values: Gender, Domestic Labor, and 1980s Sitcoms

New York Times: The Times of the Eighties: The Culture, Politics, and Personalities that Shaped the Decade

The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade

Television Series of the 1980s: Essential Facts and Quirky Details

The 1980s and 1990s (Costume and Fashion Source Books)

VHS Video Cover Art: 1980s to Early 1990s

Action Figures of the 1980s (Schiffer Military History)

80s TV Trivia Quiz Book: 300 Multiple Choice Quiz Questions from the 1980s (TV Trivia Quiz Book - 1980s TV Trivia) (Volume 3)

Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute

 

14. American Culture in the 1980s

American Culture in the 1980s is a book written by Graham Thompson. It looks beyond the common label of Ronald Reagan’s America to visualize the complex intersection of cultures in the 1980s. This book provides a discerning account of the major cultural forms of 1980s America including literature, drama, film, television, music, performance, art, photography, and as well as influential texts and trends of the 1980s. It also has a chapter that is focused on the changing dynamics of American culture in a globalized marketplace. If you want to know how the American culture is in the 1980s, then this book is for you.

15. Trivia Presents: The Crazy 80s

You will be able to test your memory of the greatest decade ever, which is the 80s, with this trivia book by Paul Kent. This book contains 300 questions and 30 multiple-choice quizzes of ten questions each that will take you back in time to the realm of Run-DMC, Rubik’s Cubes, and Ronald Reagan. This book will be your personal time machine because as you answer the questions, you will surely enjoy reminiscing as well.

16. Exploring America in the 1980s: Living in the Material World

Exploring America in the 1980s is a book by Molly Sandling and Kimberley L. Chandler, Ph.D. This book looks at literature, art, and music of the 1980s, which will give you an understanding of how the people living through the decade experienced and felt about the social changes that took place around them. This book is useful, and it can complement a social studies or language arts curriculum. Aside from that, it can also be a standalone material in a gifted program. 

17. TV Family Values: Gender, Domestic Labor, and 1980s Sitcoms

TV Family Values is a book written by Alice Leppert, Ph. D. This book focuses on the impact of the 80s television shows had on middle-class family structure. Some of the sitcoms examined in this book are Family Ties, Who’s The Boss, The Cosby Show, Full House, and Growing Pains. They are scrutinized against the background of a period generally remembered as socially conservative and fixated with traditional family values. It is a great book to have if you are also curious about the impact of these sitcoms to family values in the 80s.

18. New York Times: The Times of the Eighties

New York Times: The Times of the Eighties is written by William Grimes, editor, and writer of the New York Times. It talks about the culture, politics, and personalities that shaped the 1980s decade. It contains over 200 articles from the 1980s which are carefully curated by Grimes, to create a complete, historical and nostalgic collection. This book will guide you through the articles through the writer’s commentary, putting the stories into historical context. Aside from that, this book also explores the impact of the 80s events and individualsultimately had on the future. It is also fun to read because it contains lots of colored photographs for the Times.

19. The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade

This book is an analysis of the 80s decade, and it focuses on the major turning points and development in literature, politics, entertainment, and as well as social experimentation. It presents the 1980s as an important phenomenon in the American landscape. The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade is a groundbreaking book that is interdisciplinary. This book can encourage people to explore topics about the 80s which are often overlooked or usually grouped with other, more memorable decades like the 1960s. It is an excellent book to have if you’re craving for information about the 80s.

20. Television Series of the 1980s: Essential Facts and Quirky Details

Television Series of the 1980s is a book written by Vincent Terrace. It contains essential facts and quirky details about the TV series in the 80s. Some of these series are Hill Street Blues, Newhart, Cheers, St. Elsewhere, and The Golden Girls. But aside from those, other iconic shows like Baywatch, Knight Rider, MacGyver, and The A-Team also appealed to a lot of viewers. This book will give you lots of information about those series and more. This is not a book of opinions or essays, but a treasure trove of facts about each show. If you’re a fan of the 80s television series, then this book is an ideal reference for you.

21. The 1980s and 1990s Costume and Fashion Source Books

This is one volume in the Chelsea House Publishers Costume and Fashion Source Books series. It is written by Deirdre Clancy Steer. If you’re looking for 80s fashion inspiration, this book is a must-have for you. It has 32 pages of full-color photos and illustrations showing the fashions of the 1980s and 1990s. Aside from that, it also has a bibliography, glossary, and index to easily find the kind of the 80s and 90s fashion you are looking for. 

22. VHS Video Cover Art: 1980s to Early 1990s

VHS Video Cover Art is a book by Thomas Hodge. It is a unique art form that represents a period of bold creativity during the video rental boom of the 1980s up to the early 1990s. This book will make you feel like you’re stepping back in time into a local video store because of the amazing and inspiring works of art it contains. This is a great book for all the fans of VHS tapes back in the 80s. 

23. Action Figures of the 1980s

If you love classic toys, then you will love this book as well. Action Figures of the 1980s is a book by John Marshall. It contains informative and entertaining information about the action figures produced in the 1980s. This book has more than 430 colored photographs of action figures such as G.I. Joes, TV characters, fantasy figures, and superheroes. It also includes price listings for every figure. This is a must-have if you love toys or if you collect them.

24. 80s TV Trivia Quiz Book: 300 Multiple Choice Quiz

This 80s Trivia Quiz Book is by Clint Glover. If you think you know all about the TV shows of the 1980s, then you can challenge yourself in answering the 300 multiple choice quiz that this book contains. While answering, you will surely remember all the great TV shows you used to watch back in the 80s. It is also a great book to read with friends and family members to challenge one another in answering the questions.

25. Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute

Put the Needle on the Record is a book by pop culture historian Matthew Chojnacki. This book presents and compares over 250 vinyl single covers, representing almost every popular musician in the 1980s. You’ll read in this book untold stories behind the 1980s most iconic images from the designers and visual talent behind Pink Floyd, The Clash, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Kate Bush, Queen, and many more. Aside from that, this book also has a foreword from Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters and an afterword from Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.

These are some of the best books about the 80s. All of these books are interesting to read, and you will indeed learn so much about the 1980s, from its literature, music, entertainment, and more. If you’re into 80s books and music and you’re searching for more great reads, you can also check out 80s Music Books – 10 Books You’ll Want to Readfor more options.

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