Pop Goes the Decade
The Nineties
by Kevin L. Ferguson
September 2019, 292pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6260-1
$101, £78, 88€, A139
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6261-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

As the 1990s progressed, people feared that the Y2K bug would wipe out the entire power grid.

Popular culture in the 1990s often primarily reflected millennial catastrophic anxieties. The world was tightening, speeding up, and becoming more dangerous and dangerously connected. Surely it was only a matter of time before it all came crashing down.

Pop Goes the Decade: The Nineties explains the American 1990s for all readers. The book strives to be widely representative of 1990s culture, including the more obvious nostalgic versions of the decade as well as focused discussions of representations of minority populations during the decade that are often overlooked.

This book covers a wide variety of topics to show the decade in its richness: music, television, film, literature, sports, technology, and more. It includes an introductory timeline and background section, followed by a lengthy “Exploring Popular Culture” section, and concludes with a brief series of essays further contextualizing the controversial and influential aspects of the decade. This organization allows readers both a wide exposure to the variety of experiences from the decade as well as a more focused approach to aspects of the 1990s that are still resonant today.


  • Covers a wide range of aspects of popular culture of the 1990s
  • Offers an alternative perspective to the traditional, nostalgic image of the 1990s, emphasizing the often repressed voices of people of color or sexual orientation
  • Provides evidence for the continuation of the 1990s into today's culture, not only in regards to anniversaries but also inventions that continue to play fundamental roles
Kevin L. Ferguson is associate professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York, where he directs Writing at Queens and teaches digital humanities, film adaptation, college writing, and contemporary American literature. His first book, Eighties People: New Lives in the American Imagination examined new cultural figures in the American 1980s.


"Recommended. All readership levels."—Choice, June 1, 2020
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