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How Can I Keep from Singing?: The Ballad of Pete Seeger Paperback – March 18, 2008
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Pete is not perfect.Read more ›
The book falls short as an explanation of Seeger's politics and does little to enlighten readers about the appeal of his music, since the author has no curiosity about the former and is lacking in knowledge about the latter.
There are also many very nasty comments in this book about other figures in the folk singing world, effectively unattributed, since the notes at the end are merely general attributions for each chapter without specifically stating who said what. Nor is there any attempt to interpret or give a context for these inflamatory remarks.
Dunaway is also inaccurate. He gets wrong the name of Seeger's nemesis Karl Joachim Friedrich (the teacher of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski). The German-born Friedrich, a political scientist who was an adviser to the US military on propaganda during World War 2, was violently opposed to populist movements and wrote an article about Seeger and the Almanac Singers in the Atlantic Monthly in 1941, calling them "the Poison in Our System." Dunaway misspells the name of this writer as Carl Frederick, as though he were just a random writer and not a highly influential Cold War figure.Read more ›
The best part of all of this is that Pete Seeger, at age 89, is still actively writing and singing. I had the pleasure to see him in concert, along with his grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, and Guy Davis two nights ago at the Sellersville Theater. He can still get a crowd to sing along with him. While his voice is perhaps not what it used to be (but as Arlo Guthrie told him "neither is our hearing"), the magic is still there.
This book captures as much of that magic as the printed page can hold, and is a great book for people of all ages to read. I highly recommend it if you are interested in reading about a real, authentic, inspiring American hero.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the mid 60s I was still a Naval officer, but also a local folk singer, and visited the old mansion where numerous folk families stayed before, during and after the Folk... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jenny Hanniver
A very well balanced portrait of a principled man. Pete lived a long time, but not nearly long enough. We need him now more than ever.Published on July 5, 2014 by North Country Reader
Very readable book that reveals the personal side of Seeger's life as well a the historical context of his music.Published on June 27, 2014 by Punatic
Pete is my all time hero so I could not resist his biography! The biography was wonderful and did not paint Pete as a saint. Read morePublished on June 18, 2014 by Drew
Fascinating story of a fine entertainer who used his talent to better mankind. Hectored and berated by many his dedication to the principles upon which this nation was founded won... Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by Robert J. Demarest
An exceptional book. I had trouble putting it down. Well-written and interesting. It rounded out the man he was and gave him dimension. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by Anne M Dunn
Very few things in the United States are actually original. Pete Seeger is an original. Also, I'm overwhelmed to find out that I too am a commie bastard.Published on December 23, 2013 by Derek Burrell