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Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture (Haymarket Series) Paperback – October 17, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Haymarket Series
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (October 17, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859841589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859841587
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Notes from Underground is an impressive book, illuminating the possibilities and limits of democratic communication in a world where colossal media trusts make small-scale media activity both difficult and invisible. In its subject matter and its original conception, Duncombe’s pioneering study engages some of the elemental issues of our time.”—Stuart Ewen

“At long last, somebody’s got it right. Duncombe does the essential work of cultural analysis that neither the national weeklies with their demographic fantasies, nor the czars of cultural studies with their determination to locate dissent in daytime television, can never bring themselves to perform.”—Tom Frank, The Baffler

About the Author

Stephen Duncombe, an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School of New York University, is the author of Dream and Notes from Underground, editor of the Cultural Resistance Reader, and coeditor (with Maxwell Tremblay) of White Riot.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Disagreeing with a recent online review, this book is valuable for its sociological scholarly analysis. Essentially every other book currently existing on the topic of zines is nothing more than a very limited and stilted collection of samples from zines every zinester worth their salt has already heard of ad nauseum. While Duncombe is a little heavy on the utopic and overly optimistic naivete in regards to the ability of alternative media subcultures to change the dominant mainstream as we know it, it was very refreshing to read a book about zines that didn't seem to feel the necessity to "dumb it down" for the zine kids, many of whom are exceptionally bright. This is certainly worth checking out if you do a zine and are into thinking, instead of regurgitating the same old, same old, as far too many zines do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a sobering, inspiring book. Duncombe shows us the boundless potential of zines and zine culture. At the same time he diagnoses the failure of zines to reach out and become relevant to people outside our little "underground". All the effort and enthusiasm that we pour into zines is a small revolution, but if we all joined forces and poured that effort into a movement, we could truly change the system rather than just complaining and waging futile rebellion against it. This book should be required for any would-be revolutionaries, punks, zine creators, and thinking human beings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
This certainly is one of the best works about Zines. Steve layout a bunch of topics which are rather unknown into zine's scene. The big ammount of quotes reflects his comitment and background to perform this book. I still amazed of the number of quotes and interviews, which provides a wide vision of zine culture spreaded in USA. Still I feel a bit disapointed because of Steve just suggests the Zine scene in other countries. I'd like he wrote more about. Though his work is bloody comprehensive and interesting for those into Zines world.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elif Ozgen on January 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
underground culture born out of opposition to the mainstream media of the comsumer culture and the alienation caused by the whole capitalist culture is analysed in Duncombe's book in great detail.
The making of it,the meaning of it and the paradoxes and drawbacks it has are all introduced.
pros and cons well defined.Duncombe also draw the limits of the underground scene.I agree with his pessimisim about fanzine writers doing nothing more than just being politics by themselves.[what i mean is fanzine writers dont need to take political action as making a fanzine is keeping them busy (mind and time)]
What is most successful about this book is he didnt just write about the world of fanzines but explored through the social/economic/political structure of the USA. As a political science student and a fanzine writer i share his views concerning the new world order as an everchanging,imposing and even assimilating fact.(is it new?)
Well, i really liked the book even though at times i felt like he is repeating all again well i guess this happens when explaining such complex things (as economic,olitical things not fanzines)
Elif Ozgen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was happy to read that DIY communication is surviving amist the clutches of Big Business!
Having no idea what a "zine" was - in itself either tells you that I am completely removed from Bohemia and/or have been completely swallowed up by the mass of Big Business everything. But I clutched for that lifeline and reveled in the premise of freedom of speech as I read about the DIY zine creators/communicators.
Individuality and originality still lives? YYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS
Take a walk with Duncombe - it's worth it.
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