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Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream Hardcover – 4 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670921718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921713
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

This year's biggest music biography, Neil Young's memoir is absolutely fascinating. The singer writes candidly, revealing much about the life experiences which have influenced his song-writing. (Bookseller magazine)

Neil Young has never been your average rock star and this is not your average rock star autobiography . . . Over the course of its 500 pages, Waging Heavy Peace is variously wildly idiosyncratic, unpredictable, bafflingly digressive, wryly funny, deeply moving, painfully honest . . . infuriatingly elusive and shot through with moments of rare insight and beauty, which you might say makes it the perfect literary counterpart to the 50-year career it describes (Guardian)

He's talking to you, not at you, unravelling himself as well, and you don't want it to end . . . You see rock and roll history from the inside out, and in the present tense (Independent)

Young appears bounteous and joyful, a genuinely happy hippy . . . Unusually for a rock memoir, this one is almost completely angst-free (Sunday Times)

Dryly hilarious . . . poignant . . . Waging Heavy Peace shows that Young is still in full possession of that stubborn, brilliant, one-of-a-kind instrument (Rolling Stone)

A real treat . . . he writes openly and movingly abut the key figures in his life...you feel you know Young better for reading it (Metro)

A ride through Young's many obsessions . . . Waging Heavy Peace eschews chronology and skips the score-settling and titillation of other rocker biographies. Still, Young shows a little leg and has some laughs. The operatics of the rock life give way to signal family events, deconstructions of his musical partnerships and musings on the natural world. It is less a chronicle than a journal of self-appraisal (New York Times)

About the Author

Neil Young was born in Toronto in 1945, and later went to live with his mother in Winnipeg after his parents split up. He moved to California in 1966 where he co-founded Buffalo Springfield before joining the hugely successful Crosby, Stills & Nash, and then embarking on a stellar solo career. He has been inducted not once but twice into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which describes him as 'one of rock 'n' roll's greatest songwriters and performers'.

Young is an outspoken advocate of environmental issues and the welfare of small farmers - he co-founded Farm Aid in 1986. He is also active in educatonal projects for disabled children, and co-founded The Bridge School which assists children with physical impairments and communication needs.

Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation, Neil Young continues to live on his ranch in northern California and in Hawaii.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. McNeill on 20 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Neil Young's book is many things: it's a rock memoir, a stream of his consciousness, his apologia, a eulogy for his passed friends and collaborators, an eco-propoganda piece, high-definition audio propaganda piece, a love letter to his family, an unedited mish-mash, an insight to creativity, classic car story, anti-war campaign pamphlet, a confession and more. And I found it very compelling reading.

Nearly forty years on I find I'm much more into Neil Young's songs and music than I was in the seventies, but without really knowing very much of it very well. The rock memoir elements are really engrossing to anyone with some interest in Young, Crazy Horse, CSNY and Buffalo Springfield. But the power of the book is in the way Young's life story - his passions and his family - gradually unfold in amongst the tales of his collaborations and experimentations in music and film.

There's a real poignancy which comes through, partly in the account of his son's disability, partly through the loss of his friends and what might have been, and partly through Young's own fears around the aging process and loss of faculties. You feel he just had to get all this written down and off his chest, and it makes for an absorbing book.

He is currently expending considerable time and effort on promoting high definition digital audio and electric vehicles in the US, and personally I buy into his vision on both counts. Others may find those sections of the book less interesting.

The book does have the feeling that the editing process simply didn't happen, but I think it's just that he says what he thinks in his own way and his voice comes through powerfully. He's a one off for sure: an original rock'n'roll survivor, impatient and idealistic with regrets and flaws.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roger C @ West Byfleet on 3 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Yes it rambles and runs back and forward in time. All the same I loved this book finding it unput-downable.Like his music one does not know what to expect next and honestly I found it a fabulous read and a wonderful insight into how this unique artist ticks. The book describes the true individual he is both following his Muse and his many interests and pursuits. It was a real pleasure to share the recollection of these experiences with him through the medium of this book. Personally I found it uplifting that he could stick to his beliefs through thick and thin and stay true to his calling and aspirations.I thoroughly enjoyed the journey and was inspired. The only disappointment was getting to the end too quickly!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By monkeyspank on 1 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected plenty of gushing, lengthy, worthy reviews of this book, (from Neil Young fans), all giving themselves helpful votes and slaps on the back for all the other gushing lengthy reviews. And I wasn't disappointed. It's only to be expected. I'll try to keep this short and impartial.

There are questions that have been in my mind for decades ( geddit?)- like "What in God's name was going through his head when he recorded Trans?".... "What did he think of "Sweet home Alabama"?"........What did he think when he first heard America's "Horse with no Name"?........"Why was he scowling for the entire 1970's ?" ........ He answers these in a satisfactory manner , a fact which to me, alone made the book worthwhile and deepens my respect for this complex character.

This is a huge book , both in size and importance. In many ways it's a rambling mess but it does give you a great insight into Neil Young and what makes him tick. However he is obsessed with the "word count" ( having presumably come to some agreement with the publisher). In fact he mentions the word count 3 times. This means the book is padded in a disgraceful way that I have never seen before. If you took away all the "great, fantastic, devoted, inspirational" adjectives, you could condense the book by about 10%. But it gets worse. Great swathes of text have been inserted merely to make the book larger. The low point comes when he describes a visit to Costco in agonising detail, describing how "all the flashy flat screen TV's greeting us with their shiny displays mirroring all of the neon lights in the ceiling' " (?) He then goes on to describe with appalling intricacy his purchase of a replacement head for his electric toothbrush.......

There are some really interesting segments in this book, however.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are the sort of person who spends time trying to analyse what Neil Young songs mean to Neil Young then this book is not for you. If you are the sort of person who goes to Neil Young concerts and shouts out song suggestions during the set, then this book is not for you. If you are the sort of person who goes to Neil Young concerts and spends half the gig at the bar, this book is not for you. If you like to live you life through the equivalent of painting by numbers, this book is not for you. However, please buy it as you will be supporting some worthy projects.

If you spend your time thinking about what Neil Young songs mean to you, then you may enjoy this book. I think that this book tells you an awful lot about the author and those that cannot see this really do not get the man - and there is no real shame in that, it is not a crime. Writing a crap review based on lack of understanding may well be a crime though.

I think that this book makes an excellent companion to the "unauthorised" biography - Shakey. If you did not enjoy this book and have not read that then maybe you should give it ago and come back to this book.
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