Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis

Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis

Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis

Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis


"A comprehensive, readable introduction to the history, structure, functioning, and yes, the problems of U. S. unions. For labor and political activists just coming on the scene or veterans looking for that missing overview, this is the best place to start."

--Kim Moody, author of Workers in a Lean World

With historical sidebars ranging from the Industrial Workers of the World to Cesar Chavez and a generous sprinkling of photos and cartoons, Why Unions Matter is a clear and simple introduction to the labor movement's purpose and promise.


Whenever governments have imposed sweeping free-market pro
grams, the all-at-once shock treatment, or “shock therapy,” has
been the weapon of choice.

—Naomi Klein

Gimme gimme shock treatment.

—The Ramones, “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”

New York City, 1975: The events that would later be heralded as the origins of punk were taking shape. During the previous year, the band Television had begun performing regularly at a music club buried in the depths of the Bowery, CBGB's. Television's gigs were soon paired with the Patti Smith Group, and both bands found an audience among New York's art rock crowd. Meanwhile, four self-styled hooligans from Queens had also formed a band and named themselves the Ramones; by 1975 their performances at CBGB's—renowned for their ferociousness and brevity—had garnered considerable attention and a recording contract with Sire Records. With their leather jackets, mop haircuts, and streetwise personas, the Ramones' depiction of juvenile delinquency was balanced by a cartoonish sense of humor, enabling them to personify an emerging punk sensibility of minimalism and postmodern irony.

Before the end of 1975, two local writers had christened the burgeoning New York scene with the publication of a fanzine called Punk. For Legs McNeil, one of the magazine's cofounders, the term “punk” was used because it “seemed to sum up the thread that connected everything we liked—drunk, obnoxious, smart but not pretentious, absurd, funny, ironic, and things that appealed to the darker side.” In 1975, the New York scene comprised an extraordinarily eclectic cohort of musicians—including the . . .

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