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Shibboleth: My Revolting Life Paperback – July 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873176406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873176405
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,606,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Penny Rimbaud (/ J.J. Rimbaud) was at the core both of the hippie and of the punk movement in Britian. In 'Shibboleth' he takes a critical look at his past and comes up with a tentative prediciton for his future." -- C.J. Stone

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on June 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
As an avid fan of Crass' politics and art, I found Shibboleth to be an engrossing read. Penny's adolescent and adult life span a volatile, unexplored time in art and subculture, yet eventually drearily stagnant time in Britain's political scene. The scope of the story is large,and anyone familiar with Crass Records or the band themselves will find this history of the first anarcho-punk movement (as through Ratter/Rimbauds eyes) very interesting. Shining through in a somewhat different light in Penny's autobiography than in their songwork, Crass' anarcho-pacifist beliefs stem from the idea that "people are basically good, and that it was social conditions and social conditioning that produced the aberration of anti-social behavior." I reccomend this book for anyone interested in the smart side of punk.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Quickhappy on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Shibboleth recounts the origins of punk (as we know it), by finding early punk in the late 1960s and recording its evolution through the 1970s and 1980s. I've never heard Rimbaud's band Crass, and loved this book all the same. Rimbaud sets up an interesting double story line: that of his own life and that of Wally--a flower child. In a sense, the collapse of Wally's dreams, his ruination at the hands of the English mental health system, and the right-wing onslaught of Thatcher serve to explain punk. As hippie dreams failed, and as socialist alternatives proved barbaric, punk birthed new autonomous languages to own meanings apart from states, corporations, and utopias. Rimbaud is a creative writer--at times beautiful in his freedoms, while on other pages his disorder is inneffectual and tedious. But so it goes with punk, in which one makes one's own rules and one's own discoveries of beauty. Others can take your ideas or leave them. If others share the vision, so much the better. As always, Rimbaud's vision appeals to many of us across the decades and on either side of oceans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shane Wahl on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
So much of the punk ideals that surged through the youth in the 70's has given way to the poppish punk of the 90's and plain idiocy. Penny Rimbaud and Crass represented the real anarchists of the day. This great book delves into Penny's life and the life of "Wally Hope". "The Last of the Hippies" (the last part of the book) scared me to death, because it reminded me just what the government can do to people. Rimbaud is an excellent writer whose brilliant style will take on a journey through his revolting life. A must read for anyone who considers themselves an anarchist.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SusScrofa on March 13, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is something depressingly familiar in the resigned assent to violence that Rimbuad closes his book with when he refers to the attempted assassination of Margaret Thatcher by the IRA. As the catalyst for a generation of young punk rockers to begin challenging the System, Rimbuad lead the band Crass on a raucous assault on the British establishment and it's icons. The banners then were anarchy, freedom and peace... Today, if I read Rimbuad correctly, they could well be that tried and failed cliche the worker's revolution and the attendant socialist fantasies that go along with it. This book is only truly coherent to those that followed Crass and absorbed the band's Rimbuad penned lyrics; Shibboleth is that personal. Still if you want an insight into one of the premier leaders and motivators of the British punk scene, and a major thorn in the side of the Thatcher era State read this book.
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