A Guide to an American Subculture
by Sharon M. Hannon
November 2009, 181pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36456-3
$43, £34, 38€, A59
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36457-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In the 1950s it was the beats. In the 1960s it was the hippies. In the 1970s it was the punks, the next utterly unique, music-fueled subculture to reject the world set out before them—with a vengeance—and in so doing, change that world in unforgettable, unpredictable ways.

This history of the punk movement in the United States shows how punk music, fashion, art, and attitude clashed with and ultimately influenced mainstream culture.

Unlike other volumes on the punk era that focus on just the music—and primarily on British punk bands—Punks: A Guide to an American Subculture spans the full expanse of punk as it happened in the United States, from the late-1960s blast from Iggy Pop and the Stooges to the full explosion of punk in the mid 1970s to its next-generation resurgences and continuing aftershocks.

Punks covers it all—not just music, but the punk influence on film, fashion, media, and language. Readers will see how punk spread virally, through fan-created magazines, record labels, clubs, and radio stations, as well as how mainstream America reacted, then absorbed aspects of punk culture. The book includes interviews with key members of the punk subculture, including new conversations with people who participated in the punk scene in the 1970s and 1980s.


  • Includes new interviews with Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, founders of Dischord Records and the punk band Minor Threat, plus reprints of interviews with singers Jello Biafra and Kathleen Hanna, two well-known punks who spoke out frequently about politics and gender issues
  • Offers an annotated bibliography, including a variety of entries that are both scholarly and popular, grouped by format
Sharon M. Hannon is a freelance writer, editor, and researcher who has written books, websites, and articles for the Library of Congress and PBS on such topics as women explorers, World War II, spies and secret agents, and American history. Her published works include Women Explorers and The Library of Congress World War II Companion.


"In Punks: A Guide to an American Subculture, local author Sharon M. Hannon provides as thorough and insightful a guide to this cultural phenomenon as you’re likely to find. Part of a Greenwood Press series that also covered beatniks, hippies and skinheads, Punks serves as a primer to an influential but often misunderstood movement. For the uninitiated and adherents alike, this A to Z is a fascinating look at an American subculture."—Hill Rag, February 1, 2010

". . . a factually accurate textbook of sorts that touches upon all the important touchstones of what any self-respecting 'punk' would likely regard as crucial to the movement. . . . faithful and tidy representation of punk rock history." —PunkNews.org, February 23, 2010
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.