In 1945, just as the war was ending, the teenager arrived. This is the story of how we got to that moment the century and a half of ferment, folly, and angst that created a separate Teen Age in Europe and America. Jon Savage goes back to 1875 (when the first bestselling teenage memoir appeared and the first teenage mass murderer was tried), and takes us all the way through to the death of Anne Frank. In between we roam London, New York, Paris and Berlin with hooligans, Apaches, and other gangs; explore free love with Rupert Brooke and eternal youth with Peter Pan; see commerce and advertising grab a new market and watch the relentless militarisation of youth, from the Boy Scouts to the Hitler Youth. Savage describes all ranks and kinds of people, from flappers and zootsuiters to the Bright Young Things, the unemployed and the Lost Generation. The book rings with music, from Ragtime to Swing, and the stories come fast and furious, comic, poignant, painfully moving. Following the endless efforts of adults to contain, channel and control youth and the ideals and rebellion of young people determined to make their own way, Teenage covers two world wars one which obliterated the dreams
Jon Savage is a critic and writer, author of the acclaimed history of punk, England's Dreaming. He now lives in North Wales.