Mixing Pop and Politics

Toby Manning


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Watkins Media Limited
14 May 2024
ISBN: 9781913462673
600 pages

From the publisher

From rock’n’roll to contemporary pop, Mixing Pop and Politics is a provocative and entertaining mash-up of music and Marxist theory.

A radical history of the political and social upheavals of the last 70 years, told through the period's most popular music.

Mixing Pop and Politics is not a history of political music, but a political history of popular music. Spanning the early 50s to the present, it shows how, from doo-wop to hip-hop, punk to crunk and grunge to grime, music has both reflected and resisted the political events of its era.

Mixing Pop and Politics explores the connections between popular music and political ideology, whether that’s the liberation of rock’n’roll or the containment of girl groups, the refusal of glam or the resignation of soft rock, the solidarity of disco or the individualism of 80s pop.

At a time when reactionary forces are waging political war in the realm of culture, and we’re being told to keep politics out of music, Mixing Pop and Politics is a timely, original and joyful exploration of popular music’s role in our society.