We All Want to Change the World: Rock and Politics from Elvis to Eminem

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9781589790193: We All Want to Change the World: Rock and Politics from Elvis to Eminem
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We All Want to Change the World provides a cogent and fascinating evaluation of post-World War II American commercial music and its complex, multi-faceted impact on the world of politics. Tom Waldman offers articulate and compulsively readable insights into such issues as: John Lennon and Yoko Ono's fiercely political period and its decidedly mixed effect on both of their careers and the causes they championed; the violence that erupted over the Sex Pistols' performance of "God Save the Queen" at Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee; Ronald Reagan's misinterpretation of "Born in the USA"; popular song and feminism and gender issues in the political sphere; the recent trend of rock tunes being reworked as campaign songs, such as Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," and Sam and Dave's "Dole Man"; and much more. There is also extensive commentary on the events of September 11th, when many of the biggest names in the history of rock music took part in two benefits to raise money for the victims' families and to lift the spirits of the country.

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About the Author:

Tom Waldman is the author of The Best Guide to American Politics and co-author of Land of a Thousand Dances: Chicano Rock 'n' Roll from Southern California. He lives in West Hills, California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Waldman (Best Guide to American Politics) intends to provide "a look at the sometimes contentious, often opportunistic and constantly intertwined history of rock and politics from the release of `Rock Around the Clock' in 1954 through the 2000 presidential campaign." However, the project as he conceives it is too large. While his left-liberal intentions seem sincere and Waldman presents a lot of details, his summary and analysis of rock history is superficial. The writing style combines generalizations that are straight out of a generic history textbook ("John Lennon is the political iconoclast of late 1960s rock") with a few intriguing observations that he never really develops ("American Bandstand is the first and the best-known counterexample to the notion that only cool people-by their own definition-are in command of rock and roll"). Unfortunately, Waldman never really discusses much actual rock in detail, other than as it may reflect obvious historic events such as the Vietnam War or the election of Ronald Reagan. Perhaps this is because, by his own admission, it took until "the middle of 1967" for him to "admit that the Beatles were the better group on record" than the Monkees.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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