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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teenage Kicks, 25 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875 - 1945 (Hardcover)
Whilst modern folk lore hast it teenagers were in invented in the USA after the Second World War was won, Jon Savage has undertaken some urban archaeology to do some sifting and excavating to deliver truth.

Formerly the great and the good within sociology have concentrated a focus on defining the "normal;" alternatively viewed as the grunts who put in the shifts in to make the economic wheels turn, this book explores the lives of the "freaks". These are the young people who lived on the edge of "normal" existence, shunned by the mainstream whilst inhabiting a mayfly existence before they snap. The normals fear the freaks because the latter highlight the tedium of being a square.

Castigated for breaking all moral adult taboos, previous social restraints and the sacred codes those who need to believe in such ideologies find socially acceptable. Eventually the gangs are shunted out of the mainstream into early deaths, gravitate into criminal enterprises or eventually feted as prodigal sons/daughters after rejoining the flock and fold to engage in middle aged idiocy.

So the author travels back to the Victorian era, traversing the world in finding early signs of dissent and debauchery. Gently unpicking the sanitised versions of history, sanctified by pious Marxists who wish to deify the dignity of labour and the knee scraping penitents clinging to the belief life is better in the after life. Therefore why make ripples in this one? Christian Salvationists were the great enemy of youth cultures. Each adult discourse has colluded to back-fill history, who along with the free marketeers who wish to ensure progress is marked with constant diligence and drudgery. Being chained to the wheel of work time is their ideal world and the final orgasmic release is unleashed in unrestrained consumerism. Buy buy teenager, come on in Mr BMW

Jon however shows the bacchanal existed way before James Dean, Montgomery Clift and Elvis. There has always been a time just after puberty and just before the mill chain of work the iron ball of expectations was placed around the leg, young people had a window of opportunity for an individual expression and flocked to gangs for protection from other youth and older adults. Those who negated their lives, instead of dancing with unrestrained joy and creating something new, perceive the frenzy as a party that needs to stop.

Fortunately youth, apart from those existing within the present have always head butted the partitions to rise above the binds of the previous dead generations to catch a glimpse at what it is to be alive.

Within the book another trajectory for living is offered as a template. It differs remarkably from those platitudes offered by careers officers, teachers and pushy parents have to offer.

At least have a look.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Oct 2014 13:34:32 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Oct 2014 13:38:58 BDT
Plissken says:
Are you describing the gist of Savage's book through your own view of history with your own sociopolitical biases? I wasn't sure whether this was a summary of Savage's book or your own somewhat pretentious and opinionated rant about the subject. Only the last two sentences could constitute an actual review of the book.

Posted on 2 Mar 2015 23:25:28 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 3 Mar 2015 06:56:58 GMT]
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