It is no longer surprising to see scholars devote themselves to the significance of Bruce Springsteen, whether as a performer, a poet, or a global cultural symbol. But it is indeed a pleasure to find the quality of such investigations so consistently impressive, probing, and often eloquent. This is a collection worthy of its subject. I know of no higher praise. (Eric Alterman, distinguished professor at Brooklyn College and author of It Ain't No Sin to be Glad You're Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springst)
This collection focuses explicitly on Bruce Springsteen's literary connections: to the authors Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and John Steinbeck (among others), and to the tensions in his songcraft, whether of rebellion and rootedness, or gender and blue-collar ethnic masculinity. In contrast to a discourse often filled with praise-song, these essays instead hone in on the artistic elements Springsteen wields to create moments of redemption for his everyday alienated working-class characters. (Joel Dinerstein, associate professor in the department of English at Tulane University)
College-level music and literary collections alike will find this a winner! (Midwest Book Review)
Call it what you will -- hyperbolic, hagiographic, hilarious -- but Roxanne Harde and Irwin Streight, editors of Reading the Boss, liken their subject to a modern-day Shakespeare. Their introduction, "The Bard of Asbury Park," adumbrates some of the literary traits the two share; beyond a 2009 cover photo from Rolling Stone and its resemblance to the famous Chandos portrait of the Bard, there's Springsteen's abiding interest in loco-descriptive histories, or stories involving a particular place (i.e. Nebraska, Thunder Road, E Street), class struggle, song cycles and the fact that both the Boss and the Bard "offer a profound insight into the hungry human heart -- and Springsteen, arguably, with more breadth and depth than any other current American singer-songwriter" (6)....editors Harde and Streight have assembled some informative and insightful approaches to the Bard of the Garden State.
(Rocky Mountain Review)
Roxanne Harde is associate professor of English at the University of Alberta Irwin Streight is associate professor of English at the Royal Military College of Canada