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Going Going Gone: Vanishing Americana Paperback – February 1, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jonas and Nissenson ( The Ubiquitous Pig ) slyly present nostalgia with a subtext--many of their examples of phenomena which are disappearing, or already have disappeared, are gender-related. Each entry has a short descriptive essay and black-and-white photographs. For example, the treatise on blue laws--which kept businesses closed on Sundays--outlines their Puritan roots and points out that with women in the work force, Sunday shopping became a necessity. Quotes from popular literature also enhance these often ironic presentations, such as the segment from a 1939 Harper's Bazaar article included in the section on girdles. On a more serious note, sexual assault is shown to have caused the demise of hitchhiking; the end of men's clubs like Yale University's Skull and Bones is chronicled by its members; and comments on the decrease in the number of nuns include anecdotal evidence such as film director Martin Scorsese's belief that "most of the nuns who taught him were hopelessly ignorant and politically conservative" and an unnamed artist's comment that nuns made parochial school students believe that Protestant friends would "put a microscopic sliver of bacon in a cupcake and give it to us on Friday."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

The fun here is not only in marveling at how innocent and clunky life seemed only a short while back...but in pinpointing the sociological and technological forces that wiped out certain American staples. People

Part of the book's delight is that you can't anticipate what the next page will bring: American elms, the Automat, balsa-wood airplane models...The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (February 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811802922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811802925
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.4 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,574,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My husband got Going, Going Gone out of the library and read it, I read it, my Dad read it, we all liked it. This book catalogs many of those things our moms, dads and grandparents used or did in daily life that are vanishing through changes in society or technology: carbon paper, rotary phone, garter belts, or mending socks for example. The book describes the things that lead to the phasing out of the old products and methods. The photocopier killed carbon paper for example. The only down side I can see is that the book is too short. My Dad thought it was written from a slightly feminist point of view, but I didn't really notice it. I am writing this review before buying 2 copies for Christmas presents.
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Format: Paperback
The authors provide two to three page essays with a touch of nostalgiaon fifty specific elements of American life in years gone by. Subjects range from the highly tangible (drive-in movies, manual typewriters) to activities (hitchhiking, bridge parties) to abstract social norms (formal dating, parietal rules on college campuses). The strength of the book may well lie in its myriad of photographs that complement each essay extraordinarily well. The topics covered reinforce the fact that the authors are female (feminine hygiene products, white gloves, and mending, to name a few), and the reader will no doubt frequently ask himself or herself "why didn't they include this idea?"
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Format: Paperback
I hate the topsy-turvy ever-changing technology-driven twenty-first century, with that out of the way I can focus and reminisce about the wonderful, delightful, and memory-filled black and white pictures in this book, remember the PAPERBOYS well on pages 104-105 you can read about it and on page 104 there's a HALL OF FAME list of celebrities who were once PAPERBOYS. Remember when you got sick and the doctor came to your home well on pages 74-75 you can read about it, if you want a good laugh turn to pages 166-167 I'm glad to be old to remember that there was a time when you had WEDDING-NIGHT VIRGINS. On pages 126-127 you have ROTARY PHONES, remember when stores were closed on Sunday well turn to pages 26-27 and read about the BLUE LAWS, on pages 50-51 you can recall the DRIVE-IN MOVIES you went to, on pages 138-139 you can read about how pleasurable it was to take a good CIGARETTE SMOKE, remember when America had FAMILY FARMS well you can read about it on pages 54-55,I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I can go on and on but I want you to buy this book and enjoy it for yourself.
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Format: Paperback
The other brief reviews preceding mine should give you the gist of the book's contents. Let me add that, unlike many other books in this same vein, the authors' short essays on each obsolete or vanished object, practice or social norm are well-written and convey a lot of information and nuance. As at least one other person has noted, the illustrations in themselves are informative and evocative of the past. Whether you're an aging boomer bent on nostalgia or someone young who loves to delve into the byways of social history, this volume is a fine read that scratches several surfaces and goes at least deep enough to give a feel and understanding for each topic. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those things lots of us born just before, during or right after WW11 - were and are not. Some funny, some bringing tears, some unnecessary - great to read to youngsters so they learn what we had and they now have but we still managed to survive.
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