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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wicked Messenger, 7 Jun 2007
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There are numerous books out there about Dylan. Biographies, critiques and attempts at song analysis. What happened when Dylan became a born again Christian, Dylan in relation to his Jewish culture, Bob Dylan and philosophy. And, to be honest, I've read an awful lot of them. I'm not sure any of them were worthwhile. Entertaining to be sure, informative to an extent but did they nail our elusive hero? Not really, as frustratingly ambiguous as the man himself.

But, as they say, the exception proves the rule and here in Mike Marqusee's The Wicked Messenger is that exception. Please be warned this is a serious book which those of you without a background in American Studies and Cultural Theory may find testing but I do recommend that you stay with it. The author presents, ultimately, a clear understanding of Dylan's work in a cultural and political context, something that, in my opinion has eluded previous writers whose bafflement expresses itself as incoherence.

One of the very few books I've finished reading and immediately turned back to the beginning to read again. Engrossing, inspiring The Wicked Messenger is written by an excellent author whose insights spread far wider than any other commentator.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He is our country, 7 Mar 2014
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I was a teenager when he was - he helped to bring me up. He was far ahead of me.
I grew up different because he was there.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book on the right track(s), 16 Dec 2008
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This is pretty much what is says on the cover-an attempt to place Dylan's 60s work in the political context of the times.Its especially good at explaining the civil rights struggle and the subsequent fragmentation of protest. It is well written and I don't think too academic for its intended audience. There are attempts at interpretation of the more obscure lyrics-always a dangerous game with Dylan- and as Dylan has progressively less to say as the 60s wear on so the author's assertions become more tenuous-e.g.I'm not sure clothes line saga from the basement tapes deserves the analysis it gets. However overall the author resists the temptation to over indluge in guessing what Dylan means and provides one of the better offerings on the man's work. (N.B. Marquese also makes interesting contributions on the DVD-The Folk Years-see separate review.)
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The man behind the mask, 19 Dec 2005
This is an exciting insight into the political orgins of Dylan's music.
It set the music the context of the liberating 60's and helps with understanding why the often obscure lyrics still move us today.
Buy it.
Garth Frankland
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware, 30 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This is an interesting book and weaves Dylan nicely into the the political context of the 1960s. It is an updated version of the author's previous book, so beware most of the material is the same.
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