From Publishers Weekly
Music and pop culture journalist Roach (This Is It: The First Biography of the Strokes) presents a cheeky tribute to a famous shoe in this brash, colorful volume. Roach chronicles how Dr. Martens evolved from the working man's footwear of choice to punk icon supreme, using chatty prose and gritty photos of the shoes and the people who wear them. The current form of the shoe was born in 1960, although German prototypes existed earlier. An unassuming ad in a footwear industry magazine kicked things off, and, as Roach shows, Docs quickly assumed a key position in youth pop culture. Roach's account is humorous and doesn't take itself too seriously; his book is a melange of fashion, music and general cultural history. Although some bits of the book are only tangentially related to Dr. Martens-e.g., Jimi Hendrix's quote about acting crazy or Freddie Mercury's thoughts on rock stardom-everything ties together thematically, making this an interesting analysis of not only an item of clothing but of music subcultures, as well.
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This colorful celebration of the Humvee of footwear sketches the progress of the shoes that "mean something" because of "their extraordinary heritage and deep association with youth culture." Created in 1960--just in time for the metamorphosis of youth culture into youth commerce--Dr. Martens boots project a tough, chunky charm in an array of styles and colors that attract "skinheads, punks, psychobillies, grebos, [and] mods" in search of durable footwear with weaponry applications. Sturdy, comfy, and lethal when applied with a brisk kick, DMs are the brainchild of Klaus Martens, who, convalescing with a broken foot, ruminated on shoes "sufficiently comfortable to relieve his piercing foot pain" yet strong enough for hard, extended use. The rest is corporate history, along with which Roach assesses who wears DMs, replete with photos of such DM devotees as former Banshees fronter Siouxsie Sue, the Mekons, and Henry Rollins, not to mention all the shoes. An easily consumed history of the arguably most kickass footwear ever. Mike TribbyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved