The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1971

Let’s all take a groovy ride back to 1971 this month – a year we at the TFPL Reference Desk can appreciate, and not just because Starbucks was established the same year. We’re showing our age, literally, to admit more than that…

Still, you might remember that Dyn-O-Mite year for the following events:

  • The Ed Sullivan Show, a staple in homes each Sunday for more than 20 years, broadcasts its last episode in March.
  • Jim Morrison of The Doors (who had a memorable appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show) dies in his Paris apartment in July.
  • Walt Disney World in Florida opens in October.

Relive the year through its literature – here are the New York Times Best Sellers for the week of October 10, 1971.



1. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

2. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

3. Wheels by Arthur Hailey

4. The Other by Thomas Tryon

5. The Shadow of the Lynx by Victoria Holt

6. The Drifters by James A. Michener

7. Message from Malaga by Helen Macinnes

8. Theirs Was the Kingdom by R.F. Delderfield

9. The Passions of the Mind by Irving Stone

10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath



1. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

2.  Any Woman Can! by David Reuben, M.D.

3. The Gift Horse by Hildegard Knef

4. America, Inc, by Morton Mintz and Jerry S. Cohen

5. The Ra Expeditions by Thor Heyerdahl

6. The Sensuous Man by “M”

7. Madame by Patrick O’Higgins

8. Do You Sincerely Want To Be Rich? by Charles Raw, Bruce Page and Godfrey Hodgson

9. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer

10. Living Well Is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins

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