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Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan And the 1960s Paperback – October 4, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Rev Exp edition (October 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583226869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583226865
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MIKE MARQUSEE is the author of a number of groundbreaking books on politics and popular culture, including Anyone But England, War Minus the Shooting, and Redemption Song. Born and raised in the United States, he has lived in London since the 1970s.

More About the Author

Mike Marqusee was born in New York City in 1953, emigrated to Britain in 1971 and has now lived in London for more than 35 years.

Among his eight published books are the prize-winning 'Anyone But England: an outsider looks at English cricket' (first published in 1994, revised and expanded 2005), 'War Minus the Shooting: a Journey through South Asia during cricket's World Cup'(1996), 'Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties' (1999), 'Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s' (first published 2003, revised and expanded 2005), 'If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew' (2008) and 'Saved by a Wandering Mind: Poems' (2009).

In addition to his writing, Mike has been active for several decades in numerous campaigns for social justice. In the early 80s he was a youth worker and trade union activist. For twenty years he was an active member of the Labour Party, and a long-time editor of and contributor to Labour Briefing. In 1995, he helped set up Hit Racism for Six, the campaign against racism in cricket. After leaving the Labour party in 2000, he helped establish both the Stop the War Coalition and Iraq Occupation Focus. On February 15, 2003, he was a speaker at the the half million strong anti-war demonstration in New York City. He is currently a member of the NUJ, and lives in Hackney with his partner Liz Davies.

As well as his books, Mike has published articles on a wide variety of topics in (among others): The Guardian, The Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Observer, London Review of Books, Index on Censorship, BBC History Magazine, New Left Review, Red Pepper (in UK), The Nation, Colorlines (in USA), The Hindu, India Today, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Frontline, Outlook (in India).

Mike has also published longer articles and essays in a number of book-length collections and anthologies, including: 'Nothing Sacred: the New Cricket Culture' (Two Heads, 1996), 'Race, Sport and British Society'(Routledge, 2001), 'The New Ball' (Mainstream, 2000-2002), 'Beyond September 11th: An Anthology of Dissent' (Pluto, 2002), 'Following On: Post-Colonial Cricket' (Routledge, 2005), 'Selling US Wars' (Olive Branch Press, 2007) and 'A Time To Speak Out' (Verso, 2008). A chapter of his work is anthologised in 'The Picador Book of Cricket' (2005), and there is a lengthy interview with Mike in 'Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World' (2003). An essay on US sport in a global context has been reproduced in a widely used Prentice Hall textbook / reader entitled 'Common Culture' (6th Edition) edited by Michael Petracca.

Mike currently writes Level Playing Field, a column on politics and culture for The Hindu Sunday magazine, one of India's largest circulation English language publications, and Contending for the Living for Red Pepper.

In 2004, he wrote and presented an hour-long BBC Radio documentary on the history of Pacifica, America's alternative radio network.

In 2005, Mike Marqusee was named an Honorary Faculty Fellow by the University of Brighton in recognition of his "contribution to the development of a critically-based form of journalistic scholarship in the social, cultural and political nature of contemporary global sport."

Mike's articles on a wide variety of topics can be found at www.mikemarqusee.com

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Earl Murdoch on January 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered where Bob Dylan got some of his inspiration?

Have you ever wondered what went on behind the scenes when the politically active youth culture was born in the 60's?

Starting with stories about Bob's relationships with the "Dust Bowl Balladeers" and wandering along with the concert tours and digging deep into the history of SNCC (Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and SDS ( Students for a Democratic Society), and everywhere else that was relevant this book masterfully chronicles the connection between the songs and times of the 60's and beyond.

The reader is treated to a deep view of what was going on as many of Bob's most beloved songs were written. You are given a clear picture of why Bob was such an honest and faithful reflection of our times and has become America's favorite balladeer.

I have to say that I think the title is unfortunate, there is nothing "Wicked" about this messenger. The things he protests are outrageous things and he finds exactly the right words and the courage to sing them out with songs that can not be ignored. He also has made some of the most touching and romantic love songs that I have ever heard. I'm very glad to have been able to see some of the background behind his inspiration.

Finally, I understand why Bob was not at Woodstock, why he "went electric", what went on during the London tours, who was the "girl on that album cover", and many other things.

This is clearly a fascinating book that has helped me to better understand the times that I lived through even better.
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Format: Paperback
Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan And The 1960s represents a revised, expanded edition of the 2003 hardcover Chimes Of Freedom, and is a recommended pick for Dylan fans and especially newcomers who missed Chimes and here will enjoy the benefit of a new chapter on his 2004 memoir and his 2003 film. Wicked Messenger shows that Dylan didn't turn away from his famous political music but instead changed the style of his message to address changing politics. In providing a concurrent social survey of the atmosphere of the U.S. during the 1960s, Wicked Messenger draws some important connections between Dylan's musical approach, its message, and how and why it affected his times.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tammy Nates on February 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very interesting!!!! It provides a wonderful background of the period of time that influenced Bob Dylan's life and music. The book describes the history behind his songs and the history of what was going on in America during that era. It was more than I expected and I could hardly put the book down.
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Format: Paperback
This book is arresting in its intelligence and exceptional prose. It is a must-read book about Dylan's political development. Marquesee is a careful listener and has grasped the zeitgeist of the age.

Marquesee clearly sympathizes with Dylan's use of song as a political weapon, and he explains with great zeal and fervor how Dylan wielded that weapon. I think he misses an emerging spiritual consciousness in Dylan's songs, though, by the exclusive focus on the politics.

Still, anyone who wishes to understand the political world in which Dylan sang should read this book for its keen insights and unfailingly precise language.

--Lawrence J. Epstein, author of Political Folk Music in America from Its Origins to Bob Dylan
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10 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Foreman on July 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book without knowing that the author's focus was at least as much on politics as Bob Dylan. I thought I was buying a Dylan biography but was greatly disappointed. In case others may be misled by the packaging please know that the author is so devoted to adulation of socialist/communist/left wing politics that Bob Dylan the person, songwriter, musician and performer is definitely secondary. Although the book was reasonably well-written and appears to have been researched the author's unwavering obsession with politics and his overt political bias is quite annoying. If you are a political partisan you might like the book. If you think you are buying a biography of Bob Dylan you may be disappointed.
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