Incredible Bruce Davidson photos of Brooklyn gang, the Jokers

My friend Sofie posted some pictures on Facebook this week from an old Retronaut post. Took me by surprise I have to say, I didn’t think there were any posts left on that site that I hadn’t already pillaged but what do you know? An amazing picture post I’ve never seen!

These images of a Brookyln-based teen gang called the Jokers, and were taken in 1959 by photographer Bruce Davidson. They’re part of a book called (wait for it) Brooklyn Gangs, but you may be disheartened to note it costs over £1,000 on Amazon at the moment. With that in mind, we’d better just enjoy them online for now.

Teenagers really haven’t changed much. Everyone (OK, the Daily Mail) berates today’s generation but young people have always been confused, misunderstood and misinterpreted. If I could make everyone read one book it would be Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875 – 1945 by Jon Savage which debunks the idea that teenagers were invited in 1950s America and firmly puts pay to the idea that the yoof of today are in any worse than any generation that’s gone before it. It’s a brilliant, inspiring, engrossing read and – don’t let this put you off – was the catalyst for my 1920s obsession. Read it, make me proud.

[See more at How to be a Retronaut]

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