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Book: Bruce Springsteen's America - The People Listening, A Poet Singing (paperback)
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Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds
|By Robert Coles. Many of us heard about Coles when he got a little help from his friend Bruce Springsteen in early 2003, the Boss playing a pair of benefits for Coles' struggling struggling DoubleTake magazine. Here, the celebrated Harvard professor and Pulitzer Prize–winning author presents a look at the powerful impact Springsteen’s work has had both on the lives of his audience and on this country’s literary tradition.
Coles explores Springsteen’s words as contemporary American poetry, and offers firsthand accounts of how people interact with them: A trucker listens to "Blinded by the Light" during long, lonely nights and reminisces about his mother; a schoolteacher is astonished when a usually silent student offers a comparison between "Nebraska" and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; a policeman responds to "American Skin (41 Shots)," reflecting on his own role in his family and community. Such first-person accounts make up the bulk of this book, which looks at Springsteen as a representative of a uniquely American documentary tradition--as a singing and traveling poet who does not simply embody the culture of which he is a part but fully engages it, interacting with its people and creating a conversation that has helped to shape a distinct way of looking at, and living, American life today.
"These are the voices of Bruce Springsteen's America—individuals young and old, from various parts of a nation, linking themselves in words of reminiscence, reflection, assertion with certain of a singer's songs. In their sum as listeners, these Americans provide a chorus of resonance to an outpouring of engaging, stirring, inspiring music sent during our recent times toward the many who hearken to the summons of a troubadour.” —Robert Coles, from Bruce Springsteen’s America
Softbound, 246 pages