This book brings back bitter sweet memories... it came with my first pair of DMs - the most basic flat black 12-holes - that gave me excruciating blisters for a week and then became my feet's best friends. The bitterness isn't because of the blisters though, but because of the guilt - my Mum couldn't really afford to buy me the boots, and only did so because she was worried about me in teen-angst land. So sorry Mum = (
This history of Doc Martens is actually a history of every subculture movement in the UK since the 50s, since DMs have been worn by participants in all of them. Flat, practical, based on boots worn by labourers, they always symbolised a left-wing sensibility and a kick back at the commercial beauty myth and corporate culture.
So the fact that they are a desirable brand is a little bit ironic. I loved them for their aesthetic qualities, but they had to have the DM label, or only half of the 'statement' was made. So what is the statement exactly? It's changed with every generation, and it's always been rebellious. Skipping over racist white skin-heads and making much of DMs for gay pride, this book rides the strange wave of British counter-culture. We're not just for white lefties! They want to say, we're all in our DMs together against the man. Hmmm. I'm not sure. But I have to admit I'm starting to feel it's time to get my second pair.