In Search of the Blues

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( 86 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780224060189: In Search of the Blues

A revisionist account which claims that, archaic and primeval though the music may sound, “Delta blues” emerged in the late twentieth century, the culmination of a longstanding white fascination with black singers untainted by modernity.

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About the Author:

Marybeth Hamilton was born in California and teaches American history at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of When I'm Bad, I'm Better: Mae West, Sex and American Entertainment.

Review:

"High Fidelity excepted, books about record collectors are pretty rare, but here's one, and it's brilliant...An instant classic." -- Record Collector

"In Search of the Blues renders, in shimmering prose, superb field recordings of the blues searchers themselves, revealing why they searched, what they found, and how their humble, obsessed pursuits helped change the world." -- Sean Wilentz

"Marybeth Hamilton is a detective pursuing other detectives--the motley group of characters who, over the course of the twentieth century, bit by bit uncovered the mysteries of the blues--who are, as it turns out, both so many Schliemanns at Troy and so many blind men circling the proverbial elephant. Hamilton's story is riveting, her prose is elegant and concise, and her insights about the music, race relations, and the mechanics of cultural transmission are unfailingly acute." -- Luc Sante

"Though critical, Hamilton's portraits aren't one-sided. Rich bits of context--including memorable excerpts from Lomax's love letters--insure that we sympathize with the usually well meaning enthusiasts. The result is a challenging and surprisingly timely book: In Search of the Blues serves as a reminder that even in the hip-hop era, white connoisseurship of black culture remains a complicated matter." -- Time Out New York, 2/6/08

"Wherever you happen to light in Marybeth Hamilton's In Search of the Blues you find Columbus--the discovery of America in the drama of Americans discovering each other. It's no matter that it's the twentieth century, not the fifteenth--blacks and whites are strangers, so white people turn into detectives and black people into fugitives, shadows on the wall or hiding in plain sight. In this book, you never know how any story is going to turn out, and as the story goes on the suspense builds up." -- Greil Marcus

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Hamilton, Marybeth
Published by Jonathan Cape Ltd (2007)
ISBN 10: 022406018X ISBN 13: 9780224060189
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Book Description Jonathan Cape Ltd, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Light foxing to page edges Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0007913111

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Book Description Jonathan Cape. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: Very Good. 022406018X. Bookseller Inventory # TT0088042

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Book Description 2007 Jonathan Cape, 2007. Paperback. 2007 1st edition, Jonathan Cape, 8vo., 246pp., near fine, wrappers. Bookseller Inventory # ARA-84017

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Book Description Jonathan Cape Ltd, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. FAST Despatch by First Class Royal Mail. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000032212

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Book Description Jonathan Cape, London, 2007. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Good. " The book is remarkable not only for the stories it tells but also for its deep understanding of the place of the blues within the wider American culture, its obvious exclusion of women and its romance with outsider manhood. Written with exquisite grace and sensitivity, at once historically acute and hauntingly poetic, the book is an extraordinary excavation of the blues mystique ". Paperback, 246 pages, clean and firm, light crease to spine, light use. Packed well, prompt dispatch. Bookseller Inventory # 025275

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