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And A Voice to Sing With: A Memoir Paperback – July 21, 2009


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And A Voice to Sing With: A Memoir + How Sweet The Sound (DVD + CD) + Joan Baez - Greatest Hits
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; a edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439169640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439169643
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA Young rock-and-rollers at the Live Aid concert, where folksinger Joan Baez opened the festivities, told her that they were raised on her music, that their parents owned all of her albums, and that meeting her was an honor. Many will also consider reading her autobiography such an honor. Her memories of singing for Martin Luther King, for Lech Walesa and his family, at the first Newport Festival, at Woodstock, and for innumerable human rights causes are gathered together here in colorful array. Readers will gain first hand glimpses of the musical and political scenes of the '60s, '70s, and '80s. This deftly written self-portrayal will also satisfy those seeking revelations about the lives and loves of the singer. Given the lack of quality biographical material about contemporary women musicians, And a Voice to Sing With deserves a chance to be sampled by teens. Keddy Outlaw, Harris County Public Library, Houston
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Ostracized in junior high school because of her Mexican name and dark skin, Baez developed compassion for the outcast. Likewise, her Quaker upbringing was the source of her deep pacifist beliefs. So when she attained sudden fame at age 18 during the 1960s folk music revival, she didn't hesitate to mix politics and music. Her memoir describes both concert tours and political and social events that took her from Greenwich Village and Woodstock to Vietnam and Cambodia. It concludes with a backstage glimpse at the Live Aid concert. But this is also a very personal memoir with stories of parents, siblings, and friends as well as rock musicians and movie stars; it is well written and, at times, moving. Recommended. Tim LaBorie, Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia, Pa.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

She tells great stories, and shares juicy gossip.
Ralph F. Ranieri
Powers to be: Please give this woman a Grammy for all of her talent!!
Kindle Customer
I would love to read a sequel- C'mon Joan-let's go.
kooky Kid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Honest, humorous, well written. Ms. Baez dosen't pull any punches as she shares the story of her career and escapades with her readers. If you are a Baez fan you will enjoy this book. I had no idea that Joan was such an accomplished writer. I wish she'd write more.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on April 21, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An excruciatingly lovely, honest portrayal of Joan Baez' life, from self-conscious childhood through more self-confident adulthood (she speaks of self demons that haunt her yet). Includes photographs of self, family, performances, and other public appearances. A professed non-reader, non afficionado of public (regimented) learning, Joan intelligently writes about non violence, her public issues, and relationships, and in doing so, encourages readers to make more of their own personal and public lives. Powers to be: Please give this woman a Grammy for all of her talent!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By kooky Kid on June 23, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
She's gutsy and candid and a bit naughty- I loved this book because of it's particular insightfulness. Joan makes sure that we "get" her essence. Although only slightly familiar with her music ; I have become much more so after reading about her passion and ambition. there are some great snapshots of people; of course we see Dylan from a slightly scorned woman perspective- but tale hasn't hurt this unwashed phenomenon's career one bit. Truly engaging is hearing firsthand from Joan what it is like to be flying high ( while selling records) to being tossed around as a second stringer as the fads shift. The chapter on Live Aid is a hoot- the "latest thing" was madonna of all people. I would love to read a sequel- C'mon Joan-let's go.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Oldnslow on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Joan Baez's music and life as an activist-pacifist make for a unique story. She is a giant in both areas. Her first ten years (the Vanguard years) likely have never been equaled by any other American folksinger--the purity of her voice(and her wonderful guitar playing) and her great taste resulted in a series of albums (at least the first 6 on Vanguard) that truly deserve classic status. Her activism, repardless of one's political bent, must be recognized and respected, and this book doesn't even chronicle her work in this regard for the last 20 years. Her writing is breezy and makes for an interesting read-- I much prefer this kind of book, even with perhaps some faults and a lack of editing, rather than some ghost written autobiography one usually encounters. For a more complete picture of Baez I suggest reading "Positively 4th Street" by David Hajdu, which expertly chronicles the unique interrelationship between the Baez sisters, Dylan, and Richard Farina in the years 1960-65. Baez pretty much skips over this aspect of her life, yet it is essential to get a whole picture of those critical years, especially since she and Dylan were such important and influential figures during that time. The recent PBS documentary on Baez is also well worth watching, as it brings you up to her current situation. An enjoyable read for Baez fans.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the only "novel" I have read twice and would like to pick up again. I found the truth more fascinating and heart-warming than any good fiction! Ms. Baez's openness in sharing personal information gives the reader insight into understanding her motives/lyrics and direction. It is also interesting to "see" inside the workings of one who is trying to make a difference in the world versus personal and public views of a performer. Ms. Baez literary style displays her intelligence, forsight, and concerns. I would like to read future works by Ms. Baez reflecting, as a woman, how she acquired her aspirations and confidence...familial and/or inborn!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Debra McGuire on August 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Joan Baez is a hero of mine so I already expected to love this book. What I did not expect was the completeness of the information she wrote about. Much of it is written in narrative as well as dialogue. I especially liked the narration of her thoughts, not just facts. I highly recommend this book.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By mianfei on April 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My introduction to Joan Baez was very odd - coming from reading about her playing to Dorothy Day during the Fresno farmworker strikes of 1973 - but within a short time I was curious about her acclaimed voice, which I first heard whilst on holiday in Glasgow singing "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", a song I knew from Bryan Ferry's superb rendition that was his first hit in my native Australia. However, because Baez' rendition was equally impressive, I eventually began collecting most of her Vanguard-era albums and was impressed by the beauty and darkness of her albums up to the controversial Baptism.

However, for much of Joan Baez' life, her work as a political activist has tended to compete with or even overshadow her considerable talent as a singer. As a result, it is in no way surprising that Baez would eventually write an autobiography, and I was instantly curious on looking at "And A Voice to Sing With", which came out in 1987 when - even more than in her present role as an elder stateswoman to progressive causes - Baez was out of the public spotlight.

"And A Voice to Sing With" certainly shows Baez understood very well the cultural changes that were sweeping through the world at the time, and how she was passionately involved in the protests against the Vietnam War. She goes into great detail about the relationships she had, especially with her sole husband, the draft resister David Harris, and how she was involved in the countercultural movements of the 1960s.
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