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Sex, Thugs & Rock 'n' Roll: Teenage Rebels in Cold-War East Germany
Volume 16

Monographs in German History

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Sex, Thugs & Rock 'n' Roll

Teenage Rebels in Cold-War East Germany

Mark Fenemore

296 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-532-3 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (December 2007)

ISBN  978-1-84545-718-1 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2009)

eISBN 978-0-85745-229-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


"Mark Fenemore's ambitious yet admirably compact...provides a wide-ranging, richly detailed, nuanced, and insightful cultural and social history of (predominantly male) youth nonconformity in the GDR...this book belongs in the latest generation of pioneering cultural and social histories of the GDR that suggest new approaches and future paths for comparative study."  ·  American Historical Review

" insightful, constantly thought-provoking and engaging analysis of the tension between the young people of the GDR and the SED's state system. While historians of the GDR will undoubtedly find a great deal to interest them in Fenemore's work, his insights into neo-Nazism, youth culture in general and the relationship between gender and the state mean his book deserves an audience beyond those interested just in the GDR."  ·  Cultural and Social History

"...a wonderful book on the relationship of masculinity discourses of working-class culture, working-class conservatism and pop culture. Fenemore shows that youth culture is not "left" just because it deviates from the norm.  ·  H-Soz-u-Kult

"[The volume] offers a stimulating overview that widens our understanding of the socio-cultural dimension underlying National Socialism."  ·  Historische Zeitschrift

"[The author] employs a refreshing and convincing example for a different kind of scholarship about the Cold War: gender. Just as the study of men and women is more complex than lumping together all men under the rubric of masculinity or all women into a vague femininity, argues Fenemore, the GDR must be understood within the context of its relationship with Cold-War West Germany."  ·  Journal of Contemporary History

"Focusing on the behavior of young people in daily life, the author effectively illustrates how the Communist Party failed to create the anti-fascist consensus necessary to legitimize the regime."  ·  Choice

"The strength of Fenemore's study is his ability to tie the history of thaws and freezes in the GDR to the way the state handled youth, particularly male nonconformists... The book will appeal to scholars and graduate students studying the history of the GDR and youth and serve as a complement to the growing number of studies in GDR Alltagsgeschichte."  ·  H-Net Reviews


A fascinating and highly readable account of what it was like to be young and hip, growing up in East Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. Living on the frontline of the Cold War, young people were subject to a number of competing influences. For young men from the working class, in particular, a conflict developed between the culture they inherited from their parents and the new official culture taught in schools. Merging with street gangs, new youth cultures took shape, which challenged authority and provided an alternative vision of modernity. Taking their fashion cues, music and icons from the West, they rapidly came into conflict with a didactic and highly controlling party-state. Charting the clashes which occurred between teenage rebels and the authorities, the book explores what happened when gender, sexuality, Nazism, communism and rock 'n' roll collided during a period, which also saw the building of the Berlin Wall.

Mark Fenemore has a first class degree in history and a Masters with Distinction. In 2002, he gained his Ph.D. in German Studies from University College London. He has held research fellowships at the Institute of Historical Research in London and the Centre for Historical Research at the University of Limerick. In October 2005, he took up a prestigious Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentGender Studies and SexualityCultural Studies (General)
Area: GermanyCentral/Eastern Europe


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