Johnny Cash: The Life and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by DIS
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: LIKE NEW CLEAN SQUARE COPY RE-SHRINK WRAPPED
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $2.75
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Johnny Cash: The Life Hardcover – October 29, 2013


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$32.00
$14.26 $10.49




Frequently Bought Together

Johnny Cash: The Life + Johnny Carson
Price for both: $52.97

Buy the selected items together
  • Johnny Carson $20.97

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316194751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316194754
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Big Fall Books Preview 2013: To adequately describe Johnny Cash: The Life, it helps to begin with the author. For more than thirty years, Robert Hilburn worked as a music critic at the Los Angeles Times, rubbing shoulders with the greats of the industry--Dylan, Lennon, Joplin, Springsteen, U2, and many others. But this tenderhearted, penetrating biography stands as an argument that he knew Johnny Cash best. Cash was an unlikely artist, born in debt-poor Arkansas to cotton farmers. He began working (and singing) in the fields at the age of five; and from there, Hilburn--who counted Cash as a friend and was the only music journalist at the famous Folsom Prison concert--draws from his extensive personal interviews with the singer, as well as new material from Cash’s inner circle, to create a biography that is both compassionate and clear-eyed. As he details the stunning rises and tortuous stumbles of The Man in Black, Hilburn conveys an intimate, consuming, human portrait of the drama, the art, and the purpose that made the man a legend. --Chris Schluep

From Booklist

The bare bones of Cash’s story are widely known: the singer-songwriter’s childhood years as a farmer’s son longing to make music, his early hits, his descent into substance abuse, his tumultuous personal and professional life. Here, Hilburn, who covered music for the Los Angeles Times for more than 30 years, puts some meat on those bones. Did you know, for example, that when Cash moved to Memphis, he hadn’t heard of producer Sam Phillips, or Sun Records? And did you know that the lyrics of Cash’s early hit, Folsom Prison Blues, were lifted, not quite word-for-word, from Gordon Jenkins’ Crescent City Blues? The book is based on previously published material and on the author’s interviews, over the years, with numerous sources, including Cash and his family; Phillips; musicians such as Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty; and many of Cash’s friends and colleagues (each chapter is thoroughly sourced). It’s always tricky to call a biography definitive, but this one must surely come close. --David Pitt

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Robert Hilburn digs deep into the life of Mr. Cash, warts and all.
Richard A. Root
While many books have been written about Johnny Cash, and some very good, and I've read several of them, this is the one to own.
cream puff
I like the focus on Cash's music career rather than his upbringing and early life.
Joel S. Frady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"He is what the land and the country are all about, the heart and soul of it personified...". Bob Dylan.

"It's called country music and western music, but the truth is it's American music. It speaks in story about America in a way that speaks to all of us, north, east, west, and south." Richard Nixon at a White House concert.

With the holiday gift giving season fast approaching, there's no surfeit of books on musical artists. Books on Charlie Parker, The Beatles, Duke Ellington, Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix, and no doubt others will be on the bookshelves. But certainly one of the best is Robert Hilburn's book on Johnny Cash.

Hilburn began this book in 2009 when Cash's manager told him "only about twenty percent" of Cash's life had been told. While previous books on Cash put his life and music in some kind of perspective, Hilburn takes a slightly different approach. He reveals not just Cash's life in and out of music, but why Cash matters. This book is a penetrating look at the man behind the "Man in Black" myth. And Hilburn never lets the myth get in the way of the facts. He has known, interviewed, and simply talked with Cash during his long (50 years) music career. Using interviews from both the past and present Hilburn has gone deeper into Cash's life, and has shone a light on both the real Johnny Cash and his music.

The book is broken into five parts, each dealing chronologically with a specific period and events from that period of Cash's life. Events like Memphis and Sam Phillips, Columbia Records, the tune "Big River" and pills, June Carter, drugs and Carnegie Hall, Folsom Prison and marrying June, losing the muse, Rick Rubin, and the final days are just a few of the many headings of events in the five parts chronicled in this book.
Read more ›
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By James A. Meyer on November 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read Robert Hilburn for more than 35 years, and have always found his writing to be accurate, fair, and passionate. While I've never been a big fan of country music, I've come to appreciate Johnny Cash more and more over the years - especially his American Recordings albums with Rick Rubin.

I learned so much about the origins of Sun Records, Cash's passion for underdogs, his battle with addictions, his need for affirmation, and his physical ailments at the end of his life. As a Christian, I was interested to see how Hilburn handled Cash's faith, which was quickly glossed over in the film Walk the Line. In my view, Hilburn bent over backwards to represent Cash's faith and love for gospel songs in a way that would have pleased Cash no end. I didn't sense one syllable of ridicule for Cash's beliefs.

Hilburn's extensive interviews with Cash's family members, friends, and females were enlightening and contributed toward a well-rounded portrait of the man. Their commentaries on key events in Cash's life added emotion and insight to his sometimes erratic behavior.

But what I appreciated most about this book is that Hilburn continually focused on Cash's music, quoting Cash's lyrics at key junctures and letting Cash explain why he wrote and played certain songs. Cash was always at its best when he was authentic, which is why I love the American Recordings albums so much ... usually just the man and his guitar. Since there are hundreds of Johnny Cash albums available on CD - many of them compilations - Hilburn's recommended purchases at the end of the book will save readers much time as they seek to delve into his music.

I appreciated Hilburn's previous book Cornflakes with John Lennon and love this book as well. Because Hilburn respects both his subject and his audience, this book deserves a wide readership. I tried, but couldn't put it down ... and most likely, I'll pick it up again soon. Like its subject, this book is a winner.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By H. P. on October 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Biographers of musicians tend to face the same basic problem: outside of their music and antics, musicians tend to be as boring as anyone else (and for many the music isn't of much interest). Johnny Cash was different. He was an intelligent man, devouring books on history and religion. He was an iconoclast, when musicians' views are more often as predictable and conformist as they are simplistic. He had a deep abiding love for and commitment to gospel music, despite resistance from the music industry and a spotty record of church attendance. He did, like so many musicians, have serious drug problems, but Hilburn doesn't make that the focus of his biography. Rather, he keeps the focus exactly where it should be--on the music. It's a testament to the strength of Cash's songwriting that Hilburn can include so much of so many songs. They work as well as poetry as they do as songs, even the ones I wasn't yet familiar with.

Cash was a titan of music. What other musician could you write a 700 page biography on that would feel shallow in parts. Cash's career spanned across so many decades (from the 50s on) and trends in music (rockabilly to folk to outlaw country) and he interacted with so many other great musicians (from Elvis to Bob Dylan to Kris Kristofferson) and public figures (Nixon and Billy Graham) that inevitably something will leave you wanting more. Hilburn hits the most important points well, though, from the prison shows to Cash's passion for the downtrodden to his drug addiction (at too great length, that, but that's Cash's fault) to his triumphant final act with Rick Rubin. The book is packed with vignettes, like Cash being one of only three musicians to write Steve Earle a note while he was in jail for cocaine and weapons possession. Hilburn writes it all well and with a deep knowledge of the music (if with = a hint of snobbishness).

Disclosure: I received a complimentary e-copy of Johnny Cash: A Life via NetGalley.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?