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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insicive, thorough
This book suits my kind of learning - thorough, comprehensive, and not so over-burdened with academic language or nuance. Many times it took me back to earlier experiences I've had in my life - I liked that. A good, engaging read - I heartily recommend it.
Published on October 13, 2010 by Harry A. Tuft

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much, Too Fast, Too General...
I teach a course on the history of American popular music; therefore, I was excited when I saw this book. However, upon reading it, all I can say is..."um, okay." Here are a few points:

1. Weissman is addressing a HUGE topic--one could write an entire book about each of his chapters. The result? He briefly scratches the surface of many subtopics before...
Published on August 11, 2010 by S. George


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much, Too Fast, Too General..., August 11, 2010
This review is from: Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution: Music and Social Change in America (Book) (Paperback)
I teach a course on the history of American popular music; therefore, I was excited when I saw this book. However, upon reading it, all I can say is..."um, okay." Here are a few points:

1. Weissman is addressing a HUGE topic--one could write an entire book about each of his chapters. The result? He briefly scratches the surface of many subtopics before skipping along to the next. The book "feels" like someone who is trying to impress you with a vast amount of knowledge but only has three minutes to explain it...
2. Some of his information is, at best, underdeveloped (or incorrect). He makes many good points (albeit briefly) regarding various ethnic groups and the music written for/by/about them. The first chapters on immigrants, American Indians, and African-Americans are interesting (but...head-spinningly quick and superficial). He does provide examples, but some of his assertions, especially in the later chapters (rock-oriented--which don't really start until about pg. 265) are laughable. Some examples--A) Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson= glam rock?...maybe B)Sonic Youth= "representative of the macho, torn-t-shirt-and-big-biceps-attitude that was part of hardcore"? Um, have you listened to Sonic Youth? They were not hardcore (although they were on SST for a while--after hardcore was effectively dead). C) The B-52's=punk?! There are many other "huh?" moments, and while I may seem to be nitpicking...well, I am. Get your facts straight, especially with regards to modern music--there are many out here who know these types of music well (and are, frankly, more interested in them...they are ultimately more relevant than much of the info in this book). I get the impression from these (and many, many other) generalizations that Weissman is more interested in a Howard Zinn-like version of American musical history (the suffering of everyone who wasn't wealthy and white) than a relevant discussion of American music.

I guess, overall, I feel a bit misled. The cover has pictures of Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, punks, etc.--it leads one to believe that this book is going to thoroughly address more "modern" musical forms--I'm assuming that this was a marketing decision? Shrewd--it will sell more copies than if people could really see inside the book. The cover (and title) imply a modern approach--I would suggest a more comprehensive--and accurate--portrayal of these types of music(or maybe a new, more accurate title/cover?). I do applaud Mr. Weissman for what must have been an exhaustive project, but after reading it--he bit off more than he could chew (plus, he could have straightened out some of the details). The scope of this book is awesome, but frankly, the end result is not.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insicive, thorough, October 13, 2010
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This review is from: Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution: Music and Social Change in America (Book) (Paperback)
This book suits my kind of learning - thorough, comprehensive, and not so over-burdened with academic language or nuance. Many times it took me back to earlier experiences I've had in my life - I liked that. A good, engaging read - I heartily recommend it.
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Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution: Music and Social Change in America (Book)
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