Society Blues incorporates a skillful and thought-provoking critique of the ideological presuppositions that guide the promotion of authenticity. Wald achieves this goal by sticking to the details of White's career, not generalizing about its implications, yet the point comes across with clarity and conviction.
(David Sanjek American Studies
[An] affectionate, careful biography.
(The Washington Post
This is an outstanding contribution to scholarship, presenting a fascinating, broad-based, complex understanding of a seminal musical figure. The scope and detailed information will appeal to a scholarly audience, while the style and subject matter--popular music and twentieth-century politics, society, and racial issues--will appeal to a larger public.
(Ronald D. Cohen, Indiana University, Northwest)
Josh White's career made a major--and often overlooked or trivialized--contribution to the folk music revivals of the twentieth century. Elijah Wald's work addresses the serious lack of a full-length biography of this important figure.
(Millie Rahn, folklorist)
Wald's well written and deeply researched biography of Josh White is the best book on American music I've read in years (and I've read a lot of them). Anyone interested in the development of our popular music can't afford to miss it.
(Dave Van Ronk)
I learned things about Josh White from this detailed biography that I never knew. Elijah Wald has done a fine job. This is a more complete and fair book than I would have believed possible.
About the Author
Elijah Wald wrote on music for the Boston Globe for fifteen years and is coauthor of Mississippi: River of Song. He performs regularly as a singer and guitarist.