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Season of the Witch: The Book of Goth : A Times Book of the Year

Cathi Unsworth
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Bonnier Books Ltd (Nine Eight Books)
Published: May 2, 2024
ISBN: 9781788706278
464 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£14.99

1979. Months of industrial action throughout the winter have left the dead unburied and mountains of rubbish piling up in the streets.

Punk has reached its bleak climax with the fatal heroin overdose of Sid Vicious while awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend.

Unlikely alliances of outsiders prepare to seize power, set the political agenda and write the soundtrack for the years to come. Their figureheads are two very different kinds of dominatrices…

As Margaret Thatcher enters 10 Downing Street, a handful of bands born of punk – Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division and the Cure – find a way to distil the dissonance and darkness of the shifting decade into a new form of music. Pushing at the taboos the Sex Pistols had unlocked and dancing with the fetishistic, all will become global stars of goth.

By the time Thatcher is cast out of office in 1990, the arrival of goth will have imprinted on the cultural landscape as much as the Iron Lady herself.

Forty years on, author Cathi Unsworth provides the first comprehensive overview of the music, context and lasting legacy of goth. This is the story of how goth was shaped by the politics of the era – from the miners’ strikes and privatisation to the Troubles and AIDS ­­- as well as how its rock ‘n’ roll outlaw imagery and music cross-pollinated throughout Britain and internationally, speaking to a generation of alienated youths.

A fascinating social history, Season of the Witch tells the tale of an enduring counter-culture, one that steadfastly refuses to give up the ghost.

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