Bruce Springsteen might be the quintessential American rock musician but his songs have resonated with fans from all walks of life and from all over the world. This unique collection features reflections from a diverse array of writers who explain what Springsteen means to them and describe how they have been moved, shaped, and challenged by his music.
Contributors to Long Walk Home include novelists like Richard Russo, rock critics like Greil Marcus and Gillian Gaar, and other noted Springsteen scholars and fans such as A. O. Scott, Peter Ames Carlin, and Paul Muldoon. They reveal how Springsteen’s albums served as the soundtrack to their lives while also exploring the meaning of his music and the lessons it offers its listeners. The stories in this collection range from the tale of how “Growin’ Up” helped a lonely Indian girl adjust to life in the American South to the saga of a group of young Australians who turned to Born to Run to cope with their country’s 1975 constitutional crisis. These essays examine the big questions at the heart of Springsteen’s music, demonstrating the ways his songs have resonated for millions of listeners for nearly five decades.
Commemorating the Boss’s seventieth birthday, Long Walk Home explores Springsteen’s legacy and provides a stirring set of testimonials that illustrate why his music matters.
Cool. It was a new word and a new way to be, and in a single generation, it became the supreme compliment of American culture. The Origins of Cool in Postwar America uncovers the hidden history of this concept and its new set of codes that came to define a global attitude and style. As Joel Dinerstein reveals in this dynamic book, cool began as a stylish defiance of racism, a challenge to suppressed sexuality, a philosophy of individual rebellion, and a youthful search for social change.
Through eye-opening portraits of iconic figures, Dinerstein illuminates the cultural connections and artistic innovations among Lester Young, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Jack Kerouac, Albert Camus, Marlon Brando, and James Dean, among others. We eavesdrop on conversations among Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Miles Davis, and on a forgotten debate between Lorraine Hansberry and Norman Mailer over the "white Negro" and black cool. We come to understand how the cool worlds of Beat writers and Method actors emerged from the intersections of film noir, jazz, and existentialism. Out of this mix, Dinerstein sketches nuanced definitions of cool that unite concepts from African-American and Euro-American culture: the stylish stoicism of the ethical rebel loner; the relaxed intensity of the improvising jazz musician; the effortless, physical grace of the Method actor. To be cool is not to be hip and to be hot is definitely not to be cool.
This is the first work to trace the history of cool during the Cold War by exploring the intersections of film noir, jazz, existential literature, Method acting, blues, and rock and roll. Dinerstein reveals that they came together to create something completely new—and that something is cool.