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A to Z of Mod Paperback – Illustrated, 30 Apr 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel (30 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791346059
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791346052
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A new book called the 'A to Z of Mod', being published on 23 April by April and written by Mod experts Paolo Hewitt and Mark Baxter, apparently touches on every facet of the fad. And, particularly knowing Hewitt's obsession with all things Mod, it should be a decent addition to any style-savvy man's coffee table. --Menswear Buyer, March 2012

In a new book, The A to Z of Mod, authors Paolo Hewitt and Mark Baxter (aided by a foreword from actor Martin Freeman, who merits an entry in their too-cool-for-school alphabet), explore the sartorial, societal, and cultural aspects of Mod. You'll find everything here from Vespa scooters, Northern soul and Twiggy, to amphetamines, jazz, parkas and Fred Perry shirts. --The Scotsman, April 2012

About the Author

PAOLO HEWITT began his writing career at Melody Maker and New Musical Express. His articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines as well as a series of books on sports, fashion, and music. He served as the official biographer for the groups Oasis and The Jam, runs his own Mod-style knitwear label in Italy, and is the author of Fab Gear: The Beatles and Fashion (Prestel). MARK BAXTER has been fascinated with fashion his entire life and has been the owner of a vintage clothing boutique. He is the author, with Paolo Hewitt, of The Fashion of Football and The Mumper. MARTIN FREEMAN is a British actor best known for his work on television shows The Office and Sherlock and in feature films such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Love Actually.

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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Paul Hooper-Keeley on 17 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My initial impression on picking up the A to Z of Mod is that it is a well presented book of a nice size with some excellent photos and illustrations. Written by Paolo Hewitt and Mark Baxter, we are told that the authors are experts in Mod (something for the readers to decide, surely). On close examination, the content of the book appears to suffer from style over substance and is more of an ABC of Mod than an A to Z; a primer to give a taste of what the Mod style is, rather than anything definitive and comprehensive.

What I found somewhat bizarre were the sections dedicated to Bradley Wiggins, The Young Disciples, Galliano etc. yet no sections for legendary Mod DJ, Tony Class, no mention of the Phoenix List or the Phoenix & CCI Rallies. Also conspicuous by its absence is the whole 80's Mod scene, which was probably Mod in its purest, sharpest, form (those of us involved were there because it was our choice, not because we were riding the wave of a latest fashion trend) - no pieces on The Truth, Makin Time, The Moment, The Prisoners, The Rage, The Gents, The Direct Hits, The Jetset or The Risk etc. And no mention of Unicorn Records (or Detour Records, Twist Records and Biff Bang Pow Records for that matter) or `Sneakers' club. The section on fanzines (should have been `Modzines') pretty much moves from Maximum Speed and Extraordinary Sensations of the revival period to Double Breasted and the excellent Heavy Soul of the last couple of years - no mention of Derek & Jackie's `In The Crowd'; the longest running and biggest selling Modzine of all time.

And if you are going to mention Richard Barnes' `Mods!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Boland on 30 July 2013
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I hadn't realised how much the Mod era had influenced my dress sense, love of music and Lambrettas. Now in my 60s, this really was a very enjoyable reading experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By thomas on 30 July 2012
Format: Paperback
Great book, brilliant content and fantastic pictures. Am a big fan of Paolo Hewitt's books and with Mark Baxter and Martin Freeman's imput, it makes a super easy read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony R. Irons on 19 May 2012
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This book looks small, but is packed full of pages dedicated to the many facets of 'Mod'. A must to read and digest ...it really brings home to you, what 'Mod' from the early 60s was about. It all started with your 'attitude' and what you wanted out of your life and the route you wanted to take, as you went about your daily life. Buy, buy, buy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Danny Marbella on 4 Jun 2012
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Mod's early days were caught in amber by Colin MacInnes's 1959 novel Absolute Beginners, whose title conveniently makes it the opening entry here. It depicted the hip modernist (not the Gertrude Stein kind) flitting between jazz gigs and coffee bars on his Italian scooter. Like MacInnes's narrator, mods drew their music from black America and their style and philosophy from the continent. The scene developed according to a strict aesthetic: scooters over motorbikes, speed over weed, looking good over everything else. The most famous definition of mod came several years later from Pete Meaden, the man who once managed the Who: "Clean living under difficult circumstances."

Meaden's resonant phrase merits unpacking. To him, the mods' conspicuous consumption was a form of defiant working-class aspiration, while to another early mod, Steve Sparks, it was spawned by art school beatniks. There are many aspects to debate, but this is not a book that sets out to debate them. It reads like a series of unedited Wikipedia entries, larding received wisdom with matey cliches. People are always "shooting to fame" from "humble beginnings", before "growing old Modfully" or dying and going to "Mod heaven". The ideal reader is either a middle-aged man keen to spend an afternoon waxing nostalgic about Quadrophenia and Vespas, or an undercover police officer planning to infiltrate a mod cartel and looking for the right names to drop. Anyone else will find a lot of what and no why.

And yet the authors' straightforward cataloguing of bands and brands does tell you something about this most fetishistically materialistic of youth cults by showing how the mod's-eye can verge on myopia.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Simon Wells on 5 May 2012
Format: Paperback
It's fair to say that some of the previous attempts to sum up Modernism - Britain's most enduring youth cult - have fallen well short of the mark. It's an extraordinary omission - especially as Mods were (and are) renowned for an almost obsessive attitude towards detail. From cycling shirts to tonic suits, cappuccino to amphetamines, Mods employed a fastidious approach to their style; compromise never once an option.

With the genre fast approaching its half century, it's gratifying to see that Paolo Hewitt and Mark Baxter have created the ultimate guide to the movement with "The A-Z of Mod". Both clearly schooled in the art of fine taste and presentation, it's an encyclopaedia of all things Mod that should please - as well as inform - all of those who share an interest in this extraordinary lifestyle.

Liberally illustrated and pleasingly accessible, the book's text is sharp and to the point - never once underestimating its subject matter. With the potential for another Mod explosion bubbling away in the background, the book will act as the primer for anyone wishing to embark on the journey that's enchanted numerous generations. Equally, for those of us who've immersed ourselves in Modernism in varying degrees - there's enough new material here to re-engage us with what drew us in originally.

Cool, clean and hard - Modernism's journey into the future is assured by a book such as this.
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