What Was the Hipster?


What Was the Hipster? defines and unpacks the most iconic cultural figure of the 21st century: the bespectacled, ironic, kitsch-loving hipster. Composed of three parts—a transcript of an n+1–hosted panel discussion; a “dossier” of media responses to the panel; and a longer section devoted to essays—What Was the Hipster? traces the lineage of the contemporary hipster and features trenchant cultural criticism from over ten contributors. Touching on everything from douchebags, hip-hop, party photography, and gentrification to “vintage” fashion, the internet, and ever-ubiquitous skinny jeans, What Was the Hipster? is the most exhaustive document on the contemporary hipster to date.

For more information, check out the annotated table of contents, an animation of the panel event, and the index.

“Lofty and invigorating.”  —Dwight Garner, New York Times

“Perhaps the most comprehensive examination of this contemporary manifestation . . .  A more withering assessment of youth culture is hard to imagine.” Guardian

“Feels so of-the-moment that it may make you cringe at your online profile.” – Alex Raynor, Salon.com 

“I was delighted by the writers' willingness to explore the issue in a relatively even-handed and thoughtful way. And even though decades from now we might not want to remember hipsters, it’s a relief that we’ll have more to turn to in the historical record than picture books adapted from peoples’ Tumblrs.” —Elizabeth Minkel, Book Bench, NewYorker.com

First published October 2010.
200 pages.
Perfect bound, 7 x 4".


Related products