The Hardy Boys Mysteries, 1927–1979

A Cultural and Literary History


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About the Book

In its 80+ years, the Hardy Boys series has sold more than 50 million books in 25 or more languages, and has inspired five television series and many stage plays, websites, comic books, graphic novels and computer games. The series has shaped the way millions of American children see themselves and society, and has shaped the perceptions of America held by young people around the world. This book follows the creation and development of the series through 1979. Topics include the writing of Stratemeyer and McFarlane; the so-called “weird period”; the Cold War and the disco age; race, class and gender; family values; and law and order. Illustrations, bibliography, appendices and index.

About the Author(s)

Mark Connelly teaches literature and film at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he is vice president of the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Connelly
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, chronology, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2008]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7304-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: The Hardy Boys at Eighty      5

1. Off the Assembly Line: The Fiction Factory of Edward Stratemeyer      23
2. The McFarlane Formula: “I Opted for Quality”      47
3. The Weird Period      66
4. The Hardy Boys in Peace and Cold War      72
5. Policing the Hardy Boys: The “Great Purge”      83
6. Into the Disco Age      91
7. Race      98
8. Class      130
9. Hardy Girls: Gender in the Hardy Boys      138
10. Hardy Family Values      150
11. Law and Order       166
12. Action, Not Violence       176
13. Bayport, USA       189
14. The Hardy Boys on Stage, on Screen, and in Parody      201
15. Book Wars: The Series Book Under Fire      215

Chronology      231
The Hardy Boys Canon      233
Twenty Opening Lines      239
Hardyisms      241
Chapter Notes      243
Bibliography      247
Index      251

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A solid resource…recommended”—Choice
  • “An engaging and thorough history of the Hardy Boys…fascinating”—School Library Journal
  • “A brisk, interesting read, not only for fans of the series”—Scarlet
  • “Well-written and researched study”—Mystery Scene
  • “A valuable contribution to the lore of the series book”—Dime Novel Round-Up
  • “Demonstrates nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the series’ plots and recurring themes”—Children’s Literature Association Quarterly
  • “A delight to read…fans of the Hardy Boys will thrill to get their hands on this volume”—The Bloomsbury Review