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Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

by Tim Mohr

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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on September 3, 2019

Overview

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY  Rolling Stone * BookPage * Amazon *  Rough Trade
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence

“[A] riveting and inspiring history of punk’s hard-fought struggle in East Germany.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A thrilling and essential social history that details the rebellious youth movement that helped change the world.” —Rolling Stone

“Original and inspiring . . . Mr. Mohr has writ­ten an im­por­tant work of Cold War cul­tural his­tory.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Wildly entertaining . . . A thrilling tale . . . A joy in the way it brings back punk’s fury and high stakes.”
Vogue

It began with a handful of East Berlin teens who heard the Sex Pistols on a British military radio broadcast to troops in West Berlin, and it ended with the collapse of the East German dictatorship. Punk rock was a life-changing discovery. The buzz-saw guitars, the messed-up clothing and hair, the rejection of society and the DIY approach to building a new one: in their gray surroundings, where everyone’s future was preordained by some communist apparatchik, punk represented a revolutionary philosophy—quite literally, as it turned out.

But as these young kids tried to form bands and became more visible, security forces—including the dreaded secret police, the Stasi—targeted them. They were spied on by friends and even members of their own families; they were expelled from schools and fired from jobs; they were beaten by police and imprisoned. Instead of conforming, the punks fought back, playing an indispensable role in the underground movements that helped bring down the Berlin Wall.

This secret history of East German punk rock is not just about the music; it is a story of extraordinary bravery in the face of one of the most oppressive regimes in history. Rollicking, cinematic, deeply researched, highly readable, and thrillingly topical, Burning Down the Haus brings to life the young men and women who successfully fought authoritarianism three chords at a time—and is a fiery testament to the irrepressible spirit of revolution.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616209797
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Tim Mohr is an award-winning translator of authors such as Alina Bronsky, Wolfgang Herrndorf, and Charlotte Roche. He has also collaborated on memoirs by musicians Gil Scott-Heron, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, and Paul Stanley of KISS. His own writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine,and Inked, among other publications, and he spent several years as a staff editor at Playboy magazine, where he edited Hunter S. Thompson, John Dean, and Harvey Pekar, among others. Prior to starting his writing career he earned his living as a club DJ in Berlin.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

I Too Much Future 7

II Oh Bondage Up Yours! 77

III Combat Rock 121

IV Rise Above 191

V Burning from the Inside 249

VI Disintegration 297

VII Lust for Life 333

Acknowledgments 357

Bibliography 361