New York Times bestsellers for the week I was born

Thanks to, here are the fiction and non-fiction bestsellers for the week ending April 2, 1972:


  1. The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
  2. Wheels by Alex Hailey
  3. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
  4. The Assasins by Elia Kazan
  5. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
  6. The Word by Irving Wallace
  7. The Blue Knight by Joseph Wambaugh
  8. Message From Malaga by Helen MacInnes
  9. The Betsy by Harold Robbins
  10. The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins


  1. The Game of Foxes by Ladislas Farago
  2. Eleanor and Franklyn by Joseph P. Lash
  3. The Defense Never Rests by F. Lee Bailey
  4. Tracey and Hepburn by Garson Kanin
  5. Bury Me at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
  6. The Moon’s a Balloon by David Niven
  7. Bring Me a Unicorn by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  8. The Double-Cross System by J. C. Masterman
  9. Souls on Fire by Elie Weisel
  10. Buying Country Property by Herbert R. Moral

What fascinates me most about these lists is the nonfiction part. No self-help books, as far as I can tell. A few celebrity book, of course, but no books by politicians trying to sell themselves. Our taste in fiction has stayed generally the same, but our taste for nonfiction has clearly gone downhill in the 39 intervening years.


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