Dr. Martens: The Story of an Icon

Martin Roach, Author Chrysalis Impact $16.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-84411-011-7
Music and pop culture journalist Roach (This Is It: The First Biography of the Strokes) presents a cheeky tribute to a famous shoe in this brash, colorful volume. Roach chronicles how Dr. Martens evolved from the working man's footwear of choice to punk icon supreme, using chatty prose and gritty photos of the shoes and the people who wear them. The current form of the shoe was born in 1960, although German prototypes existed earlier. An unassuming ad in a footwear industry magazine kicked things off, and, as Roach shows, Docs quickly assumed a key position in youth pop culture. Roach's account is humorous and doesn't take itself too seriously; his book is a melange of fashion, music and general cultural history. Although some bits of the book are only tangentially related to Dr. Martens--e.g., Jimi Hendrix's quote about acting crazy or Freddie Mercury's thoughts on rock stardom--everything ties together thematically, making this an interesting analysis of not only an item of clothing but of music subcultures, as well.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!