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The Man Who Recorded the World: A Biography of Alan Lomax Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009947235X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099472353
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 366,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A great book...hooray!" (Peter Seeger)

"Superb" (Mojo)

"Remarkable...excellent" (Telegraph)

"Impressive - Szwed succeeds magnificently" (FT)

Book Description

First biography of the ultimate unsung hero in the history of popular music, Alan Lomax

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paulie on 26 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Anybody who is remotely interested in American music and the development of Folk,Jazz,Blues and Pop must read this book.

Extremely well written, in a clear and unfussy style, it lets Lomax tell the story of his fascination for folklore, the heritage of roots music and its brilliant vibrancy, and the untold stories of America's many musicians and the African Diaspora in particular.

Lomax's profound love and respect for the integrity and intrinsic value of an original American art form, shines through despite all the tribulations he faced and the scepticism and showbiz fakery that attempted to and eventually did, co-opt the folk movement and those involved.

Well done John Szwed.One of the best books I have read in a long time.Brilliant!
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By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
Alan Lomax was, and remains, a man of staggering influence in the popular music of the world, and in The Man Who Recorded The World John Szwed gives an account of Lomax’s life which shows why. In the course of his travels, Lomax encounters a veritable Who’s Who of the artistic world including Jackson Pollock (there is an account of him playing harmonica, pre-action painting), John Steinbeck (Lomax worked with him on radio programmes) and David Attenborough, with whom he made TV programmes during his self-imposed exile to escape the McCarthyite witch hunts then underway in the US. Also during that period he acted as folk music adviser for the TV programme The Adventures Of Robin Hood, the writers of which were blacklisted former Hollywood writers.

Wherever he was Lomax was a tireless worker, constantly seeking out new music and the stories behind it. He cared passionately for the people with whom he came in contact, and often found himself in trouble, particularly in the US where he was constantly harassed and arrested for his activities within the black community and his condemnation of its oppression by US society. Later on in life Lomax would become involved in the civil rights movement. However, this aspect of Lomax’s life is not without amusement, as the FBI constantly misidentified him, the overseas agencies asked to keep track of him quickly concluded that Lomax was no threat, and the US attaché in Spain, where the Guardia Civil were asked to monitor Lomax’s activities, was sent a photograph of Lomax which was not, in fact, of Lomax. Furthermore, and ironically, this pinko subversive was later awarded the National Medal of the Arts, by none other than Ronald Reagan.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ben on 10 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably the best book on Alan Lomax there is. This book is well written, well researched, and just generally a great biography of one of the most influential men of the 20th century.
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