Sign up for our Headlines morning newsletter.

The most interesting things on the web, handpicked each day. Sign up for our Headlines morning newsletter.


The Power of the Zoot

Book Digest Odd attire exhibited by youth—tattoos, piercings, and buttock-cleavage trousers—are nothing new. Think tie-dye, sandals, and Native American jewelry, or jeans, T-shirts, and leather jackets with pointy shoes. What is new is attention to minority American cultures; in this case, Luis Alvarez diligently charts a culture’s exemplar, the zoot suit, and connects it to modern fashion and music and a patois and vernacular that mainstreamed the notion of slang. He shows how this culture played out youth rebellion by Mexican, black, and Japanese teens. But more significantly, it is a compelling window into the U.S. in the war years as seen from a much different point of view.
blog comments powered by Disqus