Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll by Marc Dolan

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Synopsis

A vibrant biography of one of the greatest rock 'n' rollers, the America that made him, and the America he made.


This smart, incisive biography traces Bruce Springsteen’s evolution from a young artist who wasn’t sure what he wanted to say to an acclaimed musician with a distinctive vision for a better society. Brilliantly analyzing and evoking Springsteen’s output, Marc Dolan unveils the pulsing heart of his music: its deep personal, political, and cultural resonances, which enabled Springsteen to reflect on his experiences as well as the world around him. The book is now updated with a new chapter on The Promise, Wrecking Ball, and the 2012 tour.
 

About Marc Dolan

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Marc Dolan is a professor at John Jay College and the City University of New York, where he teaches English, American studies, and film. A New Jersey native, he lives in Brooklyn, New York. ?
 
Published June 4, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 529 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll

Kirkus Reviews

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Dolan analyzes the musician’s progress primarily via close, grueling readings of Springsteen’s set lists over the course of 40-plus years on stage, amply documented on bootlegs, with additional attention to the oft-protracted genesis of his albums in studio sessions and home recordings.

Apr 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Publishers Weekly

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Like a good rocker, Dolan relies on three chords and a beat to propel a straightforward story of Springsteen’s life in rock ’n’ roll and the ways that Springsteen’s music has shaped and been shaped by the history of our times.

Apr 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s not surprising that a generation of academics raised on rock should combine a fan’s passion with a scholar’s analytical scrutiny in books that are neither conventional biography nor standard music criticism.

May 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

New York Journal of Books

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“interesting story . . . more than delivers.”

Jun 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Christian Science Monitor

One camp wanted to unveil Springsteen as the solo guitar playing philosopher-balladeer – “the new Bob Dylan” – while the other hoped to model Springsteen into a hard rocker backed up by a power chord band.

Jun 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

USA Today

Peter Ames Carlin, who has written the latest, simply titled Bruce, was lucky enough to get access to Springsteen's friends, relatives and professional and artistic colleagues, and to the Boss himself.The result is an astute, engaging account of the singer/songwriter's life and career — neither...

Nov 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

USA Today

Marc Dolan begins Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll, his exhaustive biography of one of our most enduring pop heroes, with a disclaimer."No matter what some English professors might tell you," Dolan writes in the preface, "that slantwise story" — Springsteen's, and that of grea...

Jun 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

USA Today

Marc Dolan begins Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll, his exhaustive biography of one of our most enduring pop heroes, with a disclaimer."No matter what some English professors might tell you," Dolan writes in the preface, "that slantwise story" — Springsteen's, and that of grea...

Jun 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Washington Independent Review of Books

At concerts he encouraged attendees to support local food kitchens and clinics, slightly altering lyrics in his “My Hometown” to remind fans that “This is your hometown.” And in response to the misinterpretation of “Born in the U.S.A.” by Reagan and others, Springsteen added Edwin Starr’s powerf...

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Denver Post

"Tunnel of Love" (1987) was a harrowingly honest work — as painful and explicit a study of a break-up as any pop record this side of Richard and Linda Thompson's "Shoot Out the Lights" — but after that there was little new work before the two patchy albums released on the same day in 1992, "Lucky...

Jul 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Independent.ie

Springsteen recorded the title track long before the album itself, but due to waning support from his record label they wouldn't release it until he had the album finished.

Jul 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Chron.com

And while the Boss bookshelf is already groaning, with this doorstop-size (but never leaden-reading) tome, Marc Dolan has written the definitive look at Springsteen to date, surpassing Dave Marsh’s 2003 opus “Two Hearts.” Equal parts biography, musical analysis and dissection of Bruce as a pop cu...

Jun 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Bookmarks Magazine

Combining political analysis, music history, and colorful storytelling, Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ’n’ Roll reveals how a gifted, ambitious community college dropout achieved superstardom—and spent decades refining what he wanted his music to say.

Jun 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Newcity Lit

In between, he gives us Springsteen as an awkward teenager buying a used six-string and joining a band, Springsteen trying to remain an artist—a “soul with an individual message,” Dolan writes—after achieving stardom and Springsteen reacting to post-9/11 American life in the finger-wagging anthem...

Nov 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Cape Ann Beacon

“Both impulses … were parts of Springsteen’s character,” Dolan explains, noting that after spending years having “out-Dylaned Dylan” he was, with “Born in the USA,” ready to “out-Elvis Elvis.” There are a few personal revelations in the book, including a timeline of Springsteen’s relationship wi...

Jun 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Bruce Springsteen and the Pro...

Reader Rating for Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll
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