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Teenage: The Prehistory of Youth Culture: 1875-1945 Paperback – March 25, 2008
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-David Fricke, Rolling Stone
"Compulsive reading . . . Teenage is a rich, rewarding book that makes an important contribution to cultural history."
-Camille Paglia, The New York Times Book Review
"Resonant . . . Savage explores . . . [an] array of teenager types, from the wild, sensational precursors to juvenile delinquency to the straight-laced good-citizen proto- preppie. It's Savage's claim to being a great historian, and it's mighty convincing."
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Top Customer Reviews
Savage defines teenage loosely, as being from about age twelve to mid-twenties. Teenagers aren't children anymore, but they don't have the responsibilities or the experience of adults. They are like adults who haven't mastered their emotional volume control yet. Their highs are higher and their lows are lower than adults who've learned to expect disappointments and are too self conscious to enjoy with abandon. Teenagers have their lives ahead of them and anything is possible. They have little to lose and can take risks that most adults wouldn't dare.
Teenage is full of interesting stories of trend-setting teenagers such as Oscar Wilde and Arthur Rimbaud, but it's not until World War I that teenagers became really influential. With the invention of movies and radio, teenagers became the early-adopters of their times. Rudolph Valentino's fame and the reaction to his death and funeral remind me of the arrival of the Beatles in New York. Leopold and Loeb killed a child and thought they were too smart to get caught. When they were caught, they acted like celebrities during the trial, wearing stylish clothes and attracting an ardent following of young admirers.Read more ›
The sweep and breadth of this book is demanding on readers. It is rigorously academic, yet reads like a thriller, with almost every page revealing something new and fascinating. It is also sobering to see that attitudes towards young people by governments and corporations have been condescending and exploitative for a long time.
Any student of the culture or history of the twentieth century should read this wonderfully original exploration of a significant area of study.
It speaks volumes about a large subject and I am convinced there must have been enough material to make this one book a several volumes work.
It's been a rough, long reading as it took me a couple of years to read Teenage, on and off. The main reasons are that it is quite a «thick» book and it inspired me several times to get sidetracked and reach for another book off my shelves. Its «thickness» is not the physical size of it, but its amount of info throughout its pages. It sometimes overwhelmed me and it seems I am not made for this kind of overinfo anymore! My University years are a bit far behind me... So, I simply put it aside, ready for next time and took it back to read another chapter or a few at a time. I had to, I didn't want my limitations to deprive me of the fun I could get from it (yes, reading is fun) and it didn't suffer from my way of reading it.
The scope that this books covers is amazing. It fueled my love for late 19th to mid-20th century socio-history in many ways. When and how was the word Teenager coined? What it meant to be a teenager in USA, France, Germany? Rich or Poor? Educated or not? And the huge social implications that Swing and Jitterbug music brought to many teenagers in Germany at war is quite something to learn (it complements well seeing the movie Swing Kids).
My effort at going through this books are made evident here. I must simply confirm that it was absolutely worth it... Patience pays off! I really encourage you to read it!