Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution Paperback – Illustrated, Sept. 28 2010
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- Item Weight : 299 g
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780061806360
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061806360
- Publisher : Harper Perennial (Sept. 28 2010)
- Product Dimensions : 13.49 x 2.44 x 20.32 cm
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0061806366
- Best Sellers Rank: #34,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
“Compelling. . . . A brash, gutsy chronicle of the empowering music and feminist movement of the early 1990s. . . . Marcus enthusiastically tracks the ‘scattered cartographies of rebellion’ and captures the combustible excitement of this significant if short-lived moment.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Marcus has done a commendable job of telling the little-known history of an important social and cultural movement. . . . A compelling history.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Original, witty, idealistic and down-to-earth, Girls to the Front is a chronicle of women, girls, music, sexism―and, best of all, what it means to be alive. Reader take heart: Feminism is not dead.” (Brenda Wineapple, author of White Heat)
“Sara Marcus’s Girls to the Front is a great & true & real history. Thank God. At last.” (Eileen Myles, author of Chelsea Girls and Inferno (A Poet’s Novel))
“Feminism seems to change every five years. It’s hard to grasp the movement. . . . Girls to the Front is not just a keeper of the flame but brings you to yr own fire.” (Kim Gordon)
“Stirring. . . . Eloquent. . . . Like Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain did in Please Kill Me. . . Sara Marcus’s Girls to the Front tells the story of riot grrrl, one person at a time.” (Bitch Magazine)
“Ambitious and convincing. . . . Girls to the Front makes narrative sense out of events that had so far been recorded only in mythic, unverified, and fragmentary form.” (Johanna Fateman, Bookforum)
“A historical rockument of the revolutionary 90s counterculture Riot Grrrl movement. . . . A rousing inspiration for a new generation of empowered rebel girls to strap on guitars and stick it to The Man.” (Vanity Fair)
“Girls to the Front is more than just a historical account of the riot grrrl movement. It is a reliving. For those who missed the happenings of that era, this book will make you feel as though you were right there.” (Venus Zine)
From the Back Cover
Girls to the Front is the epic, definitive history of Riot Grrrl—the radical feminist uprising that exploded into the public eye in the 1990s and included incendiary punk bands Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, and Huggy Bear. A dynamic chronicle not just a movement but an era, this is the story of a group of pissed—off girls with no patience for sexism and no intention of keeping quiet.
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Many (most) people are not quite sure how to define the Riot Grrrl movement - was/is it political or should we associate it with music or a mixture of both? This book is both about how it all started taking as a point of departure the major players and their incentives to get involved; Whether it was frustration with the state of things in the late 80s early 90s in relation to e.g. gender roles or the appeal of a community of like-minded girls that were willing - and able - to make a change and who were willing to listen and deal with their personal issues.
They are certainly feminist, but not in the -sometimes- rigid, academic and excluding way of their predecessors, and what made them stand out even more was that they were very young yet demanded to be taken seriously and there is no doubt that music played a major role especially in the formative period and in order to spread the word amongst their contemporaries.
There are supporters and detractors of every movement and I'm sure there are lots of people that will look at Riot Grrrls with less rose-tinted spectacles than Sara Marcus, but as a story of a group of young women that were unhappy with the state of things and who did something about it and had a lasting influence on many other women's lives, and as a history of a new type of music/bands - and a new way of going to concerts! - I think it is very interesting and readable.
I think where she really succeeds is in contextualising the development of the movement in the times in which it happened and she really seems to GET what the movement was about - and she is able to communicate it which many others have tried -and failed - to do before her.
The only criticism I have is that she wasn't really there for many of these events and therefore she must rely on a third-person account of things which of course can be problematic as people have different versions of the truth, sometimes out of convenience and sometimes because they simply experienced it differently at the time, and in those cases, it might have been better if she had presented the material more in a he said/she said version rather than trying to tell it as fact.
But definitely one for the collection!