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Death of a Rebel/a Biography of Phil Ochs Paperback – October, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel Pr (October 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806515554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806515557
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,681,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Elliot's 1978 study of Ochs and his cultural milieu charts the rise and precipitous downfall of the influential folk singer.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Initially published in paperback in 1979, this first hardcover edition of the life of folk singer Phil Ochs has been revised to include the FBI's surveillance of Ochs and a revised discography. LJ 's reviewer called this portrait "one of finest evocations of the radical 1960s yet. . . ." ( LJ
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Marc Eliot is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books on popular culture, among them the highly acclaimed biography Cary Grant, the award-winning Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince, and most recently American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood, plus the music biographies Down Thunder Road: The Making of Bruce Springsteen, To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles, and Death of a Rebel about Phil Ochs. He has been featured in many documentaries about film and music and has written on the media and popular culture for numerous publications. He divides his time among New York City; Woodstock, New York; and Los Angeles. Visit him at marceliot.net.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "smc@fastmail.ca" on January 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
as super-"och'sfan", i collect everything i can on my favorite singer. i found this book about a year & a half ago in a used bookstore in calgary. well written by an old friend of phil och's it is a sympathetic, loving, look back on a very remarkable life. i felt much the same as when i first heard my first och's song, cruxifiction, when i was 23. hearing this stunning peice about the inevitability of fate, i was stunned, overwhelmed, and ultimatley uplifted. it made me want to collect every album (i know, i know, that dates me.) & any literary info on this man. i would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants understand their world, & to those who remember when music mattered.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By taylorw on July 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
i'm a huge fan of phil ochs and enjoyed this boiography a lot. the author didn't try to sugar coat phil's bad side, which is good. i think he did a great job of covering his whole life and showing the reader what kind of a person phil was. another reviewer said the ochs family was outraged by eliot's portrayal of phil. this is not the case. sonny ochs reccomends it (along with the other biography 'there but for fortune') on phil's web site and eliot openly admits in the epilogue that michael ochs was angered for a few months by how he talked about phil in his last days.

great read. i'd reccomend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the life of phil ochs. the only thing i didn't like was that the author didn't include many of his personal stories involving phil, but that's okay.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've always had a lot of mixed feelings about the career of Phil Ochs; he always seemed to fall just short enough of the mark enough times as a performer that you had to remember that there were several times when he hit the mark dead center and then some. From the information Marc Eliot gives forth in this very well-written, powerful book, Phil Ochs was a man whose fantasies were so intergrated with his realities that when reality won out, he had nowhere else to go. There's not much more to say---you can "what if" the poor man's choices 'til kingdom come and, in the end, what's left is a very talented guy whose life lacked enough that he chose to end it. How tragic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Banker on September 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read the book with real interest but I found it somewhat patchy with odd innacuracies. There are chunks of Phil's early life where there is a real feel for the guy whereas when he was at his peak, the account sounds spasmodic. What it hasn't really integrated is an overall view, in particular Phil's drive for success as opposed to his very real idealism for the causes he supported. Marc's shared interest with Phil was with the movies which creates limits in his perception - the annex drawn from the FBI file starts to fill in the gaps.The guy was fated by his vulnerabilities and the downturn in American radical politics which caused his downfall. Ironically, as time has gone on Phil's songs have become more relevant than ever, with only an occasional change of name.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Celeste Picco on August 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am about 2/3rds of the way through reading this book. It is pretty weak writing (but not bad), and the author doesn't seem to be able to really connect-the-dots or provide a clear overall view of Ochs, but the facts seem to be there. If you can read between the lines, a full and sad picture of Phil Ochs emerges. For me, it's a little disturbing to read what a jerk Ochs was a lot of the time... except maybe when he was singing. He seems to have had serious problems with women.
I bought this second-hand from my local library . This is an OK book. I've heard the other bio "There But For Fortune" is allegedly much better, but this one was written by a friend/associate of Phil's, which gave him an eye-witness account to some of the stuff, but doesn't neccessarily make him a good writer.
(I grew up listening to my older brother's Phil Ochs albums. I liked a lot of his stuff... and was broken hearted in 76 when I heard he committed suicide.)
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