Johnny Cash by Robert Hilburn
The Life

85%

6 Critic Reviews

...Hilburn writes with a remarkably steady hand, and Cash's weaknesses are neither ignored nor romanticized.
-LA Times

Synopsis

The national bestseller celebrated as "the ultimate Johnny Cash biography....Rock writer great Robert Hilburn goes deep." -- Rolling Stone

In this, the definitive biography of an American legend, Robert Hilburn conveys the unvarnished truth about a musical superstar. Johnny Cash's extraordinary career stretched from his days at Sun Records with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable creative last hurrah, at age 69, that resulted in the brave, moving "Hurt" video.

As music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn knew Cash throughout his life: he was the only music journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968, and he interviewed both Cash and his wife June Carter just months before their deaths. Drawing upon a trove of never-before-seen material from the singer's inner circle, Hilburn creates an utterly compelling, deeply human portrait of a towering figure in country music, a seminal influence in rock, and an icon of American popular culture. Hilburn's reporting shows the astonishing highs and deep lows that marked the journey of a man of great faith and humbling addiction who throughout his life strove to use his music to lift people's spirits.
 

About Robert Hilburn

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Robert Hilburn was a music critic and pop music editor for the Los Angeles Times for more than three decades, and has reported extensively on pop music legends, including Elton John, Bono, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, and Johnny Cash.
 
Published October 29, 2013 by Little, Brown and Company. 689 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Johnny Cash
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Aug 26 2013

The personal knowledge aided by extensive archival research and always compelling, accessible writing make this an instant-classic music biography with something to offer all generations of listeners.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Sep 30 2013

At the center of Hilburn’s portrait stands an iconic singer who struggled with addiction at the same time that he was driven by a deep Christian faith, a man who struggled to balance the dark forces of violence and disloyalty with the light of his love for family, their love for him, and his love for music.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Dec 01 2013

He deals out a stack of sharp-edged snapshots of Cash’s friends and colleagues, including Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard and Mr. Dylan. And he leaves us with a visceral feel for the grueling demands of life on the road...

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by EDDIE DEAN on Nov 03 2013

He was the only reporter present at the historic Folsom Prison show in 1968, and he interviewed Cash over the years up to his final days. The result is the most authoritative and revealing portrait to date of the most chronicled figure in country-music history.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Amanda Petrusich on Oct 25 2013

...Hilburn writes with a remarkably steady hand, and Cash's weaknesses are neither ignored nor romanticized.

Read Full Review of Johnny Cash: The Life | See more reviews from LA Times

The Economist

Good
on Nov 23 2013

Mr Hilburn is especially good on Cash’s many rough patches, seeking neither to excuse nor condemn him for his wandering eye and his addictions. But those struggles humanised him—deepening both his renowned empathy with the downtrodden and his fans’ empathy with him.

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Reader Rating for Johnny Cash
87%

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