The Bizarre Rise and Fall of the Tiki Bar

Sven A. Kristen, author of the much beloved and sadly out of print The Book of Tiki published by Taschen (used copies of which are currently selling above $130), has a new book out! It’s called Tiki Pop: America imagines its own Polynesian Paradise and it looks like another good one.

Over at Wired, Joseph Flaherty has an article on both Kristen’s new book and tiki culture in general worth reading:

In the 1950s and ’60s, an epidemic of island fever swept the United States. Tiki-themed structures spread like jungle vines, taking the form of garden-style apartments in Redondo Beach, California and Polynesia-inspired motor lodges in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. Amway, the quintessential midwestern enterprise, sold jade-green tiki soaps in the shape of Moai. Barely a decade after the Bataan Death March, Americans couldn’t get enough rattan furniture for their living rooms basement bars. For some rum-soaked reason, millions of American adults wanted their lives to feel like a never-ending trip to the Rainforest Cafe.

For the rest of “The Bizarre Rise and Fall of the Tiki Bar”, click here.

 

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