Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Burning Down The Haus

Burning Down The Haus

LONGLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE

‘A thrilling and essential social history that details the rebellious youth movement that helped change the world’ Rolling Stone

‘A riveting and inspiring history of punk’s hard-fought struggle in East Germany’ New York Times

‘Wildly entertaining . . . A joy in the way it brings back punk’s fury and high stakes’ Vogue


THE SECRET HISTORY OF PUNKS IN EAST GERMANY

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: in an authoritarian state where the future was preordained, punk, with its rejection of society and DIY approach to building a new one, planted the seeds for revolution.

As these kids began to form bands, they also became more visible, and security forces – including the dreaded secret police, the Stasi – targeted them. They were spied on by friends and family; they were expelled from schools and fired from jobs; they were beaten by police and imprisoned. But instead of conforming, the punks fought back, playing an indispensable role in the underground movement that helped bring down the Berlin Wall.

Rollicking, cinematic and thrillingly topical, this secret history brings to life the young men and women who successfully fought authoritarianism three chords at a time. Burning Down the Haus is a fiery testament to the irrepressible spirit of revolution.

‘Original and inspiring . . . an important work of Cold War cultural history’ Wall Street Journal
Read More

Genre: The Arts / Music

On Sale: 26th September 2019

Price: £18.99

ISBN-13: 9780349701295

Reviews

Lively . . . Compelling . . . A front-row seat to the events of the '80s. This take on punk evolution is engaging, enlightening and well worth checking out
Publishers Weekly
A thrilling and essential social history that details the rebellious youth movement that helped change the world
Rolling Stone
Mohr digs into the subject of East German punk like nobody before
Rolling Stone (Germany)
Burning Down the Haus is a riveting cultural history that also serves as a rallying call against authoritarianism everywhere
Ruth Franklin, author of the NBCC Award-winning Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Gripping
Billboard
Wildly entertaining . . . A thrilling tale . . . A joy in the way it brings back punk's fury and high stakes
Vogue
Burning Down the Haus is not just an immersion into the punk rock scene of East Berlin, it's the story of the cultural and political battles that have shaped the world we live in today. Tim Mohr delivers the soundtrack for the revolution that we've all been waiting for
DW Gibson, author of The Edge Becomes the Centre: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century
Burning Down the Haus fastidiously traces the self-discovery of punks in the socialist dictatorship of East Germany, and the violence and repression they endured on the way to freedom
NPR
Offers a captivating punk's-eye view of everyday life as the DDR unravelled in its final years . . . Both a moving story of indefatigable defiance in the face of oppression and a complex portrait of everyday life in the DDR in the 1980s, Burning Down the Haus honours the punk spirit with its history from below
Times Literary Supplement
Political regimes can't stop soundwaves. They just travel. This is revealed powerfully in Tim Mohr's Burning Down the Haus, an exploration of how punk changed Berlin, and still defines it today, 30 years after the Wall fell
New Statesman
Spellbinding . . . Part cultural history, part political thriller, and entirely true
Peter Ames Carlin, author of Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon
A wonderful book
Berliner Zeitung
[A] riveting and inspiring history of punk's hard-fought struggle in East Germany. The book chronicles, with cinematic detail, the commitment and defiance required of East German punks as they were forced to navigate constant police harassment and repression
New York Times Book Review
In East Germany, where non-conformity meant jail time, punks' ripped clothes and spiked hair were a show of courage and defiance. Squatting in derelict apartments and burning their lyrics before the secret police could get hold of them, these teenagers wrote the soundtrack for a rebellion that helped bring down the Berlin Wall. Tim Mohr tells the story of their DIY revolution with the thoroughness of a historian and the panache of a cultural insider. Burning Down the Haus is a riveting cultural history that also serves as a rallying call against authoritarianism everywhere
Ruth Franklin, author of the NBCC Award-winning Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Original and inspiring . . . Mohr has written an important work of Cold War cultural history
Wall Street Journal