Alan Lomax by John Szwed
The Man Who Recorded the World

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Synopsis

The definitive biography of Alan Lomax-from John Szwed,"the best music biographer in the business" (L.A. Weekly).

One of the most remarkable figures of the twentieth century, Alan Lomax was best known for bringing legendary musicians like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Muddy Waters, Lead Belly, and Burl Ives to the radio and introducing folk music to a mass audience. Now John Szwed, the acclaimed biographer of Miles Davis and Sun Ra, presents the first biography of Lomax, a man who was as influential as he was controversial-trailed for years by the FBI, criticized for his folk- song-collecting practices, denounced by some as a purist and by others as a popularizer. This authoritative work reveals how Lomax changed not only the way everyone in the country heard music but also the way they viewed America itself.


 

About John Szwed

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JOHN SZWED has written biographies of Sun Ra and Miles Davis. He is professor of music and jazz studies at Columbia University.
 
Published December 30, 2010 by Penguin Books. 452 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alan Lomax

Kirkus Reviews

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Overdue, hagiographic biography of the folk-song collector.

Jan 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recor...

The New York Times

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In “Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World,” John Szwed, a biographer of Miles Davis and Sun Ra, covers the life of a tireless music folklorist and anthologist.

Jan 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recor...

The Guardian

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If he was not the first to collect the songs of the hidden vernacular cultures of the United States – his father, John A Lomax, was among his predecessors – his enthusiasm and ambition made him the best known and the most effective, even today, when the fruits of his investigations are more freel...

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recor...

The Wall Street Journal

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Alan Lomax proved that the poorest places held some of the richest cultural treasures

Jan 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recor...

Star Tribune

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Szwed's book is both interesting and important, but he could have dug deeper into what motivated Lomax to devote his life -- and risk his safety -- for such a peculiar passion.

Jan 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recor...

Los Angeles Times

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The biography skillfully charts the legendary folklorist who first taped Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie and more.

Jan 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recor...

The Telegraph

Guthrie - a .

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recor...

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