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This new study explores how British youth was made, and how it made itself, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Urbanisation and industrialisation brought challenges that altered how young people were both perceived and understood. As adults found it difficult to comprehend the rapidity of societal change, focus on the young intensified, and they became a symbol of uncertainty about the future. Highlighting both change and striking continuity, Melanie Tebbutt traces the origins and development of key themes and debates in the history of modern British youth. Current issues such as the ageing of western societies, high levels of youth unemployment and the potential for social and political unrest make this a timely study.