Since his arrival in New York in 1961, Bob Dylan has always been something of a mystery. He has worn a variety of masks that have delighted, puzzled, amused, and angered his many audiences. He has been poet, rocker, preacher, trickster, and prophet, and he has filled all these personas with songs and different voices. Nonetheless, Dylan has always been perceived as an "authentic" artist. Andrea Cossu brings the "making of Bob Dylan" to center stage in this new book, which offers a strikingly fresh explanation of Dylan and the changes he made throughout his career. Cossu's enjoyable descriptions of key Dylan performances show us how Dylan created his authenticity through performance, and how the many attempts to make "Bob Dylan" have often involved the interaction between the artist, his public image, and his many audiences. Touching on four different periods and tours-from his first days in Greenwich Village to his "electric turn" at Newport, from the Rolling Thunder Revue and Dylan's born-again years to his late career-the book offers a striking vision of how Dylan built his image and learned to live with its burden, painting a unique and coherent new portrait of the artist.
Andrea Cossu (1975) is a writer and sociologist with an interest in the performing arts, popular music, and the relationship between artists and audiences. He obtained his PhD in sociology from the University of Trento (Italy) before spending two years at Yale University as a Visiting Fellow. He has taught several courses in sociology at the University of Trento, the University of New Haven, and the University of Padova.
His first book is It Ain't Me Babe: Bob Dylan and the Performance of Authenticity (Boulder, Paradigm, 2012), an investigation that focuses on the making of "Bob Dylan" as one of the most important cultural icons of our era.
Andrea has recently launched a blog on all things Dylan, http://bucketsofbob.wordpress.com