Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture


Product Details

$27.00  $24.84
University of North Carolina Press
Publish Date
March 23, 2020
6.7 X 9.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Grace Elizabeth Hale is the Commonwealth Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Virginia. Her previous books include A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America and Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940.


A carefully constructed history of how Athens, Georgia became a cultural hot spot. . . . A welcome history of an overlooked milieu, one that provides ample inspiration for art makers today.--Kirkus Reviews

Hale's rich, personal narrative draws readers in. . . . This colorfully rendered reverie will delight indie music fans.--Publishers Weekly

Both a historian and a participant in the music scene, Hale crafts a lively account of 1980s Athens: the artists, their stories, and the haunts they frequented, such as the Grit and the 40 Watt Club.--Library Journal

While the Athens buzz may have been manufactured, Athens is a very real place, and Hale writes with real passion about her formative years there.--The Current's Rock and Roll Book Club, Minnesota Public Radio

Captivating. . . . A deeply researched, highly engaging history of the Athens music scene.--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Reconstructs the musical hotbed that birthed R.
E.M., The B-52s, and Neutral Milk Hotel.--The AV Club

Delivers more than a love song to the music. Cool Town also serves up a textured portrait of a generation caught between baby and tech booms, wriggling under the thumb of the mainstream--in the pre-internet days when 'mainstream' was a discernible thing--and rummaging through thrift-store bins both literal and figurative in an effort to create something new.--New York Times Book Review