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"Masciotra's readings are insightful, even brilliant at times. ...Masciotra argues in Working on a Dream, by way of painstakingdissections of Springsteen's lyrics, his stories are in the deepestsense about a nation that systematically subverts itself: underminesits communities, isolates citizens from one another, exercises itspower recklessly, and destroys the sense of solidarity that is socrucial to a healthy society." -In These Times
"Make no mistake about it, Masciotra is a complete Springsteen devotee, but even if you are not a fan there is still much of interest in this finely detailed and intensely written volume. Generally adopting a thematic rather than a strictly chronological or biographical approach, Masciotra anchors his politics firmly to the left and finds the love, anger, despair and hope so often present in Springsteen's work an invaluable guide to both understanding and changing the lot of those presently either despised or rendered invisible in the heart of the American dream. ...Unlike the all too clever, intentionally shallow and gossip-obsessed rubbish that we generally get, this is musical journalism definitely worth reading." -The Morning Star
Reviewed in — wait for it — Families First magazine, Sept/Oct 2010 (UK)
'The book leaves you with hope that music can challenge people and even change situations'
Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 'Exemplary beyond any literary doubt and quitepossibly the finest Springsteen book I've ever read'
(Reviewed by David Marx on David Marx Reviews website, http://davidmarxbookreviews.wordpress.com)
"Masciotra's readings are insightful, even brilliant at times. ...Masciotra argues in Working on a Dream, by way of painstakingdissections of Springsteen’s lyrics, his stories are in the deepestsense about a nation that systematically subverts itself: underminesits communities, isolates citizens from one another, exercises itspower recklessly, and destroys the sense of solidarity that is socrucial to a healthy society." -In These Times
Reviewed in – wait for it – Families First magazine, Sept/Oct 2010 (UK)
'The book leaves you with hope that music can challenge people and even change situations’
Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 'Exemplary beyond any literary doubt and quitepossibly the finest Springsteen book I’ve ever read'
About the Author
David Masciotra has written for Z Magazine, the Catholic Worker, the Humanist, PopMatters, and the Herald News in Joliet, Illinois where he was a weekly political columnist. He is a graduate student at Valparaiso University, and lives in Indiana. For more information see www.davidmasciotra.com
While I expected a book celebrating Bruce Springsteen and his music, what I didn't quite expect was a celebration of not only how Springsteen's music exemplifies and illuminates the tenets of progressive politics ranging from the need to build community, address isolation, expose the degradation of the working class and strengthen the education system, but a discussion on the array of public policies that support these tenets.
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Well I can say with all honesty that I have NOT read over 80 books on or about "The Boss"...(hell there can't even be that many about Jesus Christ... can there be?) But I have read "Working on a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen" and it is a comprehensive and very passionette study...putting it in the simplest of terms..this book is about Bruce Springsteen's concern and love for his fellow man. Not only that, Dave Masciotra's in depth study and history about Sprinsgteens political views are exciting and quite educational. As a musician I have not read a book like this about any of my other musical heroes other that the typical..."wild and crazy lifestyles" dime novel docudramas you can purchase at any magazine rack in town. Many people think that Bruce's political views exploded after 9/11, but I realize now, after reading this book that his voice has always spoke of the common man ..the plight of the underpriviledged and hope for the hopeless. That's putting it mildly. I can also relate to Daves recognizable musical love and affection for the Boss... And rightfully so..what better way to get Springsteen's political views out there than to research, study, and write about one of your own heroes who you trust and believe in? Well done Dave! This book is heart-felt not a political rant. I encourage all, and especially my musician brothers and sisters out there to pick up Dave Masciotra's book and be inspired as a musician to play your clubs and venues with an attitude of change and service to your fellow man...in other words...sing your songs,that they may make a difference and inspire enough to pay it forward.
I don't think there's a Bruce book that's ever been published that I haven't read, and this one is nothing short of spectacular. I don't want to cast aspersions on reviewers, but I can't help but think that the person who really disliked the book is one who can't help but love Bruce, even if he loathes his politics and pretends that he only writes about girls and cars.
This author really GETS IT; that Bruce's writing has been informed from the very beginning by lives that are lived in the margins, by people who are cast away and considered dispensable.
I wish Bruce would have blurbed the book--I think this represents what he thinks as much as anything I've ever read. Every day I thank Bruce for his part in speaking for those whose voices are not heard; now I need to thank this brilliant author as well.
Sometimes I wonder when I read a review so positive if I'm really the author's mother, or cousin, or whatever. For the record, never met him, though I'd love to sit down and have a beer and talk Bruce with him someday. Bravo!!
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