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"Silence Is No Reaction is not just a book. it’s a labour of love"

Djordje Miladinovic at Thoughts Words Action reviews Ian Glasper's new book about The Subhumans, 'Silence Is No Reaction'...

In the pulsating heart of the late seventies and early eighties UK punk scene, where rebellion and dissent found its rawest expression, the Subhumans emerged as anarcho-punk stalwarts, and their four-decade journey is thoroughly chronicled in Ian Glasper’s latest offering, “Silence Is No Reaction: Forty Years of Subhumans.” With an impressive track record in documenting the underground UK punk movement, including titles like “Burning Britain,” “The Day the Country Died,” “The Scene That Would Not Die: Twenty Years Of Post-Millennial Punk In The UK” and “Armed With Anger, How UK Punk Survived The Nineties,” Glasper once again proves himself as a venerable punk historian, weaving together the threads of time with unparalleled detail and passion.


What sets “Silence Is No Reaction” apart is the sheer dedication and effort Ian Glasper has poured into compiling the entire history of Subhumans. This book exemplifies his commitment to preserving the legacy of one of the most significant anarcho-punk bands of all time. Glasper leaves no stone unturned, carefully gathering information through recollections of past and present band members, close friends, and peers. The result is a narrative that breathes life into the Subhumans’ journey, offering an intimate glimpse into the band’s evolution, struggles, and triumphs. The comprehensive nature of the book is a treasure trove for any true Subhumans and anarcho-punk fan. Glasper’s thorough research is evident in the wealth of material presented, including a rich collection of photos and flyers that visually document the band’s aesthetic evolution. The inclusion of complete discography and gigography adds another layer of depth, transforming the book into a valuable reference for collectors and enthusiasts alike.


Ian Glasper’s ability to deliver a top-notch literary piece is once again on display in “Silence Is No Reaction.” His writing is marked by tremendous attention to theme and detail, ensuring that the reader not only absorbs the facts but also immerses themselves in the ethos of the Subhumans. The prose resonates with a genuine love for the subject matter, capturing the essence of the band’s music, philosophy, and impact on the punk landscape. The book unfolds like a chronological journey, tracing the Subhumans’ trajectory from their formative years to their status as DIY punk icons. Glasper skillfully navigates through the highs and lows, providing a nuanced portrait of a band that refused to be confined by the conventions of the music industry. The anecdotes and insights from band members and those close to them add a human touch to the narrative, making it a compelling read for both hardcore fans and newcomers alike. One of the book’s strengths is its ability to contextualize the Subhumans within the broader socio-political landscape. Anarcho-punk is not merely a genre; it’s a movement rooted in activism and a vehement rejection of societal norms. Glasper adeptly explores how the Subhumans embodied these principles, using their music as a vehicle for social critique and change. In doing so, he elevates the narrative beyond a mere chronicle of a band’s history, transforming it into a cultural commentary on the power of punk as a force for dissent.


“Silence Is No Reaction” is not just a book; it’s a labor of love, a rock-solid proof of the enduring influence of the Subhumans on punk music and culture. Ian Glasper’s dedication to preserving the legacy of these trailblazers is commendable, and his ability to craft a narrative that is both informative and emotionally resonant exemplifies his position as one of the greatest contemporary punk historians. For anyone with an affinity for the anarcho-punk sound or a love for the Subhumans, this book is an indispensable addition to the literary canon of punk history. Earth Island Books and PM Press did an incredible job on this one. From design to printing quality, “Silence Is No Reaction” shines in all its glory. You can purchase the book in the UK/EU via Earth Island Books, and in the US via PM Press.


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