Sunday, September 5, 2010

American History Scholar Turns to Writing about Bob Dylan

According to an article that appeared in today's LA Times Sunday Book Review section historian Sean Wilentz from Princeton University is releasing a new book on a subject more interesting to the average person than his usual academic papers.  His new book, Bob Dylan in America, will chronicle the musician's role in American history beyond the trap of the 1960's beat movement he is usually associated with.  The article showcases Wilentz's passion for the topic and for a topic and perspective in American history not usually examined.  I, for one, find this viewpoint particularly refreshing.  Usually pop culture is not considered a serious enough topic for academic study and thus it is left out of most people's historical education.  But this is a serious failure on the part of the academic establishment.  Not only is this the topic that most people will be interested in because it deals with things average people experience and make time period more real, but because our popular culture speaks worlds about the culture a majority of people lived in during a time period.  It reflects their interests, concerns and lifestyles, not matter how much it lacks true artistic value.  

Bob Dylan, however, does have considerable artistic and as Wilentz argues historical value as a subject of study.  I am intrigued to find out more about this American performer who has been an undeniable presence in American music history. 

Click the link below to read the original article:

Bob Dylan sings the songs of America

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