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The Soul Stylists: Six Decades of Modernism - From Mods to Casuals [Kindle Edition]

Paolo Hewitt
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Soul Stylists is about six decades of Modernism and a highly influential world of clothes and music, but one deliberately hidden away for years from the mainstream media. This book explores the enduring relationship that exists between American black music and British working-class style, tracing a Mod tradition that began in Soho just after the Second World War and continues to this day.

From Mod to Casual, from Skinhead to Northern Souler, the soul stylists are an amazing family joined together by a tradition of secrecy, exclusivity and absolute indifference towards the outside world. They pass unnoticed because soul stylists always shun the spotlight. To them, attention to detail is far more important than attention seeking. And here in this book, for the very first time, are some of their stories.

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Product Description


"It's a great book that retraces the history of mod culture from post-war Britain right up to skinheads. It's probably too engaging for bedtime, but it's got lots of interesting details about music and fashion and social history" (Uncut)

Book Description

'You never look backwards at that age. What for? This is what's happening now. You need the music to go with the lifestyle to go with the attitude. Forwards. No looking back' - Norman Jay, DJ

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 306 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1840185961
  • Publisher: Mainstream Digital; New Ed edition (6 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0053QBDNE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,050 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars irritating 24 April 2013
No photos and I don't like Paolo Hewitt's style of writing as it's all this off-the-streets old cobblers which is irritating to read. I have a mate who talks like Paolo writes - a sort of hybrid Jimmey Pursey/Gary Bushell Estuarian English. My mate comes from Cornwall and still talks about 'the kids, like', in a mockney accent. I've known him for more than 30 years so you get used to it, and he doesn't attempt to make money out of his banal, cliched observations anyway AND he was the genuine article - 1/2 inch turn ups on his Levis, Loakes brogues, sheepskin etc, plus he's 6'4" and hard as nails.
Some of the interviews with the early mods and skinheads were interesting but I personally didn't learn anything new, and I don't think any other old mod would either. Funny how Paolo neglected the 1979 generation of mods and skins despite the fact he was infatuated with Paul Weller. No, actually it's not, as he doesn't like us much, being one of the cool gang of the 90s who enjoyed taking a swipe at us. He forgets we were the real McCoy, going against the face of fashion in the early 80s, while he and his like jumped on the bandwagon only when Blur and Oasis made it acceptable to do so.
And why he thinks football casuals were anything to do with mods is beyond me too. I can't remember football (and politics) being particularly mod concerns. He'll be seeing the yahoos who wear tracksuits and like hip hop (that's black music too) and kick peoples' heads in at football matches as mods too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is wrong with groovin? 9 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
As someone who has been there, done that - lived to my best abilities the modernist ethic, I found Paolo Hewitts compendium a none the less refreshing read. Somewhat London-centric and dwelling too heavily on a sort of "found" philosophy, could be two criticisms of the content - my early days as a young modernist/soul-stylist/whatever, were spent in mad abandon, roaring around Northern council estates - we were certainly stylish but a little less ponderous than some of the commentators in this book would have you believe. It is interesting to find out more of the scene that instigated a lot of my teenage beliefs - but most of the characters interviewed seem a little too sober to be believed - it was FUN, we were certainly "cool" and all the other attached epithets that go hand-in-hand, but I remember as much of the good times and laughing a lot, as I do the clothes. Great times, adventures, brilliant music that would live with me forever - but I've never been to John Simon's shop...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better 21 Jun. 2007
By Andy Edwards VINE VOICE
That there is a link between American R&B and British male fashion is inescapable - and this book seeks to draw a line from the immediate post war years to the present. If you were part of any of the movements described here you will find much to bring a smile to your face - but for those who missed it, you won't find any pictures to enlighten you. It is an incredibly perverse choice for a book about how people look - and that sets the tone for the book.

Hewitt has clearly researched his topic, and the sections on the original Mod movement are very interesting, but may frustrate those who lived outside London. There are many anecdotes which come with a very elitist tone - but doesn't this deny the huge number of working class kids who followed the trend without ever being a "face". Succesive style are given the same treatment.

So we move From Mods and Motown, through Skinheads and Ska, via Northern Soul and the 2 Tone thing to Casuals and ???? - yes Casuals - exactly how did they follow the modernist tradition? and what was their musical link? It doesn't work I am afraid.

I can't help feeling that this book has Paul Weller's name on it to create credibility. Hewitt seems to have fallen between 2 stools - he portrays Mod and it's successors styles to be an elite lifestyle choice, but at the same time he is telling a story which is inescapably working class and thus accessible, in some form, to all.

Buy this by all means, but there are better books on Mods in particular - and they'll have pictures too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very disappointing book.. 22 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
Having looked forward to the publication of this book for ages I was extremely disappointed to read the same tired old opinions from so called "faces," such as Farley and Mahoney.
There were adverts in the music press asking for recollections and photos but yet all we got was the rentaquotes from the same journo friendly people. Also the inclusion of some photos would have helped.
The opinion of the 'man in the street," should've been included. For instance the bit on Casuals/Soul Boys was absolutely dreadful..way off the mark, but that's what you expect from the likes of Sampson, Farley and Mahoney.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshingly parka-less Mod account! 28 Oct. 2009
By zips78
A refreshingly Parka-less Mod anthology with an expert touch from Paolo. Drawing all parallels to the Casuals, Northern Soul and skinhead cultures, this Mod tale is unique in its approach and genuine integrity. A must for all Mod and Youth culture study's book shelves.Fresh and direct and never boring, this volume of Mod and associated accounts from the early pioneers to soul boys and the 80's revival and football terrace-spawned casuals, the book manages to grip and hold your interest throughout... ultimately leaving you quite hungry for more...
Essential reading!

A balanced over-view of the 1979 - 1985 Mod scene and it's roots in the late 70's Punk scene etc, along with many unpublished photos of the late 70's Punk scene and Mod Revival etc can be read in Our Generation: The Punk and Mod Children of Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster

and extensive Mod coverage in This is Our Generation Calling: Punk and Mod in and Around Sheffield - The Conclusion with accounts from 79 era Mods, 2-Tone fans, 80's Mods and exclusive rally photos etc as well as the Casuals.

while the true Mod Bible for 79 era Mods and beyond must be Mods!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 2 months ago by DENNIS JAMES BLACK
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
Loved it from Mod to Casual all in there and I never knew that when we split and frayed the bottom of our Lois cords it was only a London thing
Published 7 months ago by happy chappy
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable history of working class fashion and culture.
I really enjoyed this book, especially the earlier parts that dealt with the rise of the mod culture and how it tapped into the aspirational need to be different (and more stylish)... Read more
Published 8 months ago by glenn
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great!
Lots of old people talking about how great their era was and how smart they were compared to others! Lacks any warmth or humour.
Published on 29 May 2013 by J. A. O'sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Once a mod always a mod
This book gives a real insight to the way of life different styles revolve around over the decades the details are very accurate in description but all relate to one iconic style... Read more
Published on 29 Sept. 2012 by Popple
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
A really good book that show a complet vision of the modernism culture and his evolution. It's a pity that does not include photographs.
Published on 29 Dec. 2010 by Juanma
4.0 out of 5 stars well done
Very interesting book about what Mod is all about and at the end Paul Weller ist the only real Mod ever. Hope he'll write his biography as soon as possible.
Published on 17 Oct. 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars LOVED THE BOOK...but casuals, mods?? please
Loved this book ( despite like everybody else involved at some stage in the soul movement who despises Hewitt)some good references to Mods, Skinhead, Northern Soul, Soul boys, etc. Read more
Published on 17 July 2003 by CHRISTIAN
4.0 out of 5 stars Not great, but it'll do
Thankfully Paulo and Paul finally got round to putting something out about this subject. Thoroughly enjoyed the section about Northern and skinheads (thankyou Jim Ferguson, your... Read more
Published on 8 Jun. 2001 by TopGearSkin
3.0 out of 5 stars stick to what you know Paolo
i'm grudgingly giving this 3 stars for the the post-war jazz and sixties mod stuff. the, ahem, 'casual' section is laughable and gives the (never challegened) impression that the... Read more
Published on 14 Feb. 2001
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