Picks and Pans Review: 60s!

updated 09/19/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/19/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by John and Gordon Javna

Remember milk bottles sitting out on the front stoop? How about JFK's favorite rocking chair? Or everyone's handywoman, Josephine the Plumber of the Comet commercial? This enterprising compilation of memorabilia takes a unique approach in its study of one of America's most turbulent decades by bypassing the Vietnam War over there and skipping lightly over the social protests over here. That makes it not too valuable as history, but it does take the pain out of remembering the era. The authors, 33-and 30-year-old brothers who led normal postwar childhoods in suburban Tenafly, N.J., bring together hundreds of photos and thousands of facts in this time capsule that chronicles virtually all of the decade's fads and phases, a task that took three years of hunting. Entire sections are devoted to topics such as the baby boomers' love affair with the American automobile; the first realization of the far-reaching effects of television (the Laugh-In line "Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall's" raised that dictionary's sales by 20 percent); the "counterculture," often a polite euphemism for druggies (prospective members of Timothy Leary's upstate New York commune were carefully screened and tested on their knowledge of LSD). The Javnas don't miss a trick, categorizing every national obsession from pocket radios to Peter Max and miniskirts to Metrecal. There's even a directory of where to obtain many of the collectibles mentioned in the book for those who wish to relive the period. For most people, though, 60s! will be enough. (St. Martin's, paper, $12.95)

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