This hardcover book was released on Bruce Springsteen's 70th birthday, September 23, 2019.
Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen, edited by Jonathan D. Cohen and June Skinner Sawyers, commemorates the Boss’s seventieth birthday, explores his legacy, and provides a stirring set of testimonials that illustrate why his music matters. This unique collection features essays and 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 (Richard Russo), critics (Greil Marcus, A.O. Scott), musicians (Wes "John Wesley Harding" Stace, Martyn Joseph), photographers (Frank Stefanko), museum curators (Colleen Sheehy), and other noted scholars and scribes whose names will be familiar from previous writings on Springsteen: Louis P. Masur, Peter Ames Carlin, Eric Alterman, Jim Cullen, Lauren Onkey, Daniel Wolff. 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.
Rutgers University Press, hardcover, 270pp.
Introduction: Why Springsteen?
By Jonathan D. Cohen and June Skinner Sawyers
Part I: Springsteen Stories
1. "Growing Up with Bruce Springsteen"
By Eric Alterman
2. "How Bruce Springsteen Made a Middle-Aged Woman Believe in the Magic of Rock and Roll"
By Nancy S. Bishop
3. "From the Backstreets to the Badlands: My Springsteen Journey"
By Deepa Iyer
4. "The Ripple Effect"
By Frank Stefanko
Part II: Springsteen, Politics, and American Society
5. "The Role of the Popular Artist in a Democratic Society"
By Jefferson Cowie and Joel Dinerstein
6. "Starting a Fire: Bruce Springsteen’s Political Journey from 'Born in the U.S.A.' to 'American Skin (41 Shots)'"
By Gillian G. Gaar
7. "Springsteen’s American Dream"
By Louis P. Masur
8. "At the River"
By Paul Muldoon
9. "The Ties That Bind "
By A. O. Scott
Part III: Springsteen Live
10 Live at the Roxy"
By Greil Marcus
11. "The Magic Circle"
By Wesley Stace
12. "Twist and Shout"
By David L. Ulin
Part IV: Springsteen the Artist
13. "Brilliant Disguise: The Completely True Fictional Adventures of Bruce Springsteen"
By Peter Ames Carlin
14. Interview with Martyn Joseph by Irwin H. Streight
15. "This Train: Bruce Springsteen as Public Artist"
By Colleen J. Sheehy
16. "Born to Write: Bruce Springsteen, Flannery O’Connor, and the Songstory"
By Irwin H. Streight
17. "Ten Great Springsteen Moments (and Five Iconic Concerts)"
By Kenneth Womack
Part V: Springsteen, Sex, Race, and Gender
18. "Our Butch Mother, Bruce Springsteen"
By Natalie Adler
19. "Springsteen’s Women: Tougher Than the Rest"
By Gina Barreca
20. "Shackled and Drawn"
By Lauren Onkey
21. "American Skin: Springsteen and Blackness"
By Elijah Wald
Part VI: Springsteen and Aging
22. "Summer’s Fall: Springsteen in Senescence"
By Jim Cullen
23. "Work and Play: Mid-Life Music"
By Daniel Wolff
Part VII: Springsteen beyond Borders
24. "Bruce Springsteen’s River in Dublin"
By Dermot Bolger
25. "The Boss in Bulgaria"
By Richard Russo
26. "We Take Care of Our Own"
By Wayne Swan
Notes on Contributors