33 Revolutions per Minute by Dorian Lynskey
A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day

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Synopsis

Dorian Lynskey is one of the most prominent music critics writing today. With 33 Revolutions Per Minute, he offers an engrossing, insightful, and wonderfully researched history of protest music in the twentieth century and beyond. From Billie Holiday and Woodie Guthrie to Bob Dylan and the Clash to Green Day and Rage Against the Machine, 33 Revolutions Per Minute is a moving and fascinating portrait of a century of popular music that tried to change the world.
 

About Dorian Lynskey

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Dorian Lynskey is a music writer for the Guardian. He also writes for Q, The Word, and Spin, among other publications. 33 Revolutions Per Minute is his first book.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 683 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for 33 Revolutions per Minute

Kirkus Reviews

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One of the best chapters explicates the inherent folly of “stadium protest,” manifested in such overblown, self-congratulatory ’80s affairs as Live Aid and “We Are the World.” Lynskey also notes that compositions can have their intent obscured and their essence misappropriated, as was the case wi...

Dec 01 2010 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The New York Times

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In “33 Revolutions Per Minute,” Dorian Lynskey works with a more traditional definition: a protest song, he writes, is a song that “addresses a political issue in a way which aligns itself with the underdog.” Specifically, Lynskey is concerned with the long tradition of radical songwriting and pe...

Apr 29 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The New York Times

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About Cooke and “A Change Is Gonna Come” he observes, wonderfully: “He sings the title four times during the song, his conviction increasing each time, like someone testing a rope to see how much weight it can bear.” He describes Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” as “ancient and malign,” “the most evi...

Apr 28 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The Guardian

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The way Dorian Lynskey tells it, you might wonder why the writers and performers of protest songs bother.

Mar 26 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The Wall Street Journal

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The answer might be found in a two-page epilogue, ­"Protest Songs Before 1900," which ­reveals the sources and thus the original power of protest songs: "a melting pot of topical ballads, labor songs, parodies, spirituals and hymns."

Apr 09 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

Kirkus Reviews

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Lynskey, recognizing that, is continuing the project that the book started at the 33 Revolutions per Minute blog.

Nov 07 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

New York Journal of Books

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In 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day, author Dorian Lynskey discusses the various protest songs of the 20th century, starting with the union battles early in the century and ending with Green Day’s millennial rant about President George W.

Apr 05 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

Los Angeles Times

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Dorian Lynskey chronicles how pop songs have helped spur social protests. Songs by Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan are among those highlighted.

Apr 07 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The Telegraph

If this majestic new history achieves one thing it will be to nail the myth that protest songs not only began, but ended, with We Shall Overcome – that time-worn sing-along beloved of Sixties marches and sit-ins.

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The Telegraph

The rock critic Dorian Lynskey was 10 years old when Frankie Goes to Hollywood released a song that harnessed fears of nuclear war and sent them strobing through a disco beat.

Mar 08 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The New Yorker

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May 30 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

Austin Chronicle

Although he's mentioned liberally in the chapters dealing with the Sixties, Ochs was in some ways more important, and certainly more active, than Dylan when it came to protest songs – and in this context remains miles beyond U2, which is given a chapter simply to discuss Live Aid, Band Aid, and U...

Jun 15 2012 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

New Zealand Listener

During the presidency of George W Bush, much was written about the failure of popular music to ignite a radical counterculture.

Jul 21 2011 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

Socialist Review

The book - which is about protest music - starts by looking at Billie Holiday's harrowing classic about lynching, Strange Fruit, and works its way through the world of protest songs right up to Green Day's anti-Bush/redneck song American Idiot.

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Rambles

Even within North America he misses a rich vein of protest song on such issues as First Nations rights, environmental issues, feminist/women's protest music, etc.

Jun 08 2013 | Read Full Review of 33 Revolutions per Minute: A ...

The Humanist

Such is Lynskey’s command and confidence that when the book’s energy fades towards the end, in the chapters concerning the 1990s and beyond, it feels deliberate, a implicit acknowledgement that the protest song itself is slouching into redundancy (though Lynskey tries gamely, he’s unlikely to per...

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