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Grateful Dead and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy) (Popular Culture & Philosophy) [Paperback]

Mark Gimbel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: 10.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Oct 2007 Popular Culture & Philosophy (Book 28)
Twenty philosophical essays about the Grateful Dead phenomenon evaluates the band, its lyrics, and its influence from a variety of ancient and modern perspectives to consider how it fits into broader trends of American thought. Original.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Co ,U.S. (31 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812696239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812696233
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 17 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,050,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There was nothing like selling tie-dyed t-shirts in the parking lot. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Angus Jenkinson TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a surprisingly brilliant series of essays. At least it surprised me. I expected it to be fanszine airhead material, but it's very much better than that. The Grateful Dead have become iconic in a new dimension: as management gurus, and from these essays you can understand why. Inevitably, many leading business figures became fans of the Grateful Dead, or Deadheads, when they were younger. The band that is said to be "beyond description" has also become the ultimate inspiration for Apple, Yahoo!, Google and others in the territory where digital technology crosses over with creativity (a number of books on this subject is scheduled for publication in 2011).

The Grateful Dead created an extraordinary mythology but more importantly an entirely different business model to go with their unique music, a compote blended from rock, jazz, Indian Raga, bluegrass, blues, country, skittle and more. They are noted for extemporisation, with everyone playing together (and not as soloists one by one as so frequently in jazz), often playing the more than 10 or 20 minutes on one track and indeed morphing from one song into another. They achieved an extraordinary degree of community in their playing, a creative team phenomenon that is an inspiration to modern corporations. "Dynamic synchronicity" is how Barry Barnes, professor of leadership at the Wayne Huizenga School of business and entrepreneurship in Florida, describes the band's energy. At the same time, this pattern rarely fitted commercial record publication but a huge fan base followed them from their early days in the 1960s as they toured, often performing 50 gigs a year. Whereas most other bands used performances to promote records, for the Dead performances and merchandise were the primary financial source.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars deeply disappointing 1 July 2007
By abcde - Published on
The title of this book carries great promise. Indeed, one would think that it would intellectually stimulate any Deadhead. Nevertheless, the book fully fails to satisfy. First, prospective readers should know that the book is #28 in a series of books with similar names -- all are entitled, "_____ and Philosophy." The series includes such books as "Seinfeld and Philosophy" and "The Simpsons and Philosophy." Thus, the book was not premised on any singular belief that the Dead's music or lyrics bear a unique or even special relation to philosophy. It is therefore not surprising that the reader quickly infers that the driving force behind the book simply asked a bunch of Deadhead philosophy professors to somehow try to link the Dead's music to known philosophies. And, the strain of attempting to create such links is apparent in almost every essay published in the book. Surely in many instances these writers simply concoct links and substantial meaning where these do not exist and were not even intended by the Dead (or by contributing lyricist R. Hunter). For sure, the Dead's music is marvelous and heady -- but their body of work was, quite clearly, more artistic and cultural than "philosophical." This book, however well intentioned, cannot overcome its fatally flawed premise and is neither credible nor engaging. Don't be tempted.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinkingman's Dead! 14 Jun 2007
By L. C. Renbaum - Published on
This is a wonderful collection of essays from ACTUAL American philosophers and professors who share a loose common bond that is stronger than dirt - they are all Deadheads. Every angle is discussed, from the social contract and economics of the tie-dye sellers in the parking lot to philosophical underpinnings of August West. There is something here for everyone who grew up a Deadhead and longs for those late night dorm-room inspirations ("Dude, WE'RE the cats who are under the stars!") except this time, they make sense, have extensively sourced quotes, and even a couple of footnotes. And this is the real thing - the authors all have deep knowledge of both their philosophical fields, and membership the unique community of Deadheads. One could say there is no overarching GD philosophy, and this book doesn't attempt to posit one. Rather, just as there are a hundred interpretations of Terrapin, this book contains dozens of reflections on the life and times of the Dead, their music, and their legion of fans. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any Deadhead who sought meaning in the scene and the tunes... and I think that's all of us, really. Makes a great gift! [ethical disclosure: I grew up with the book's editor and took him to his first, and several other shows, so I know he's cool.]
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It'll Make You Think. 26 July 2007
By Ken Herrick - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some very well written chapters in here and some I could have done without but I should think that most people will feel the same. Most likely not about the same chapters but isn't that part of philosophy?
Several of the writers give email addresses where you may get in touch with them & like me, you may want to just to say "but didn't you know?".
Not a quick read, but it should give you a thing or two to think about.
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I espected 19 Mar 2012
By Dario - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wanted to get a little deeper in my knowledge about grateful dead, and just tried this book without especting much of it.
It's a great book! Even though not every chapter was interesting for me, there were some very useful.

You'll enjoy this book no matter you are a deadhead or just a passing by reader.
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