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Bruce Springsteen might be the quintessential American rock musician but his songs have resonated with fans from all walks of life and from all over the world. This unique collection features reflections from a diverse array of writers who explain what Springsteen means to them and describe how they have been moved, shaped, and challenged by his music.
Contributors to Long Walk Home include novelists like Richard Russo, rock critics like Greil Marcus and Gillian Gaar, and other noted Springsteen scholars and fans such as A. O. Scott, Peter Ames Carlin, and Paul Muldoon. They reveal how Springsteen’s albums served as the soundtrack to their lives while also exploring the meaning of his music and the lessons it offers its listeners. The stories in this collection range from the tale of how “Growin’ Up” helped a lonely Indian girl adjust to life in the American South to the saga of a group of young Australians who turned to Born to Run to cope with their country’s 1975 constitutional crisis. These essays examine the big questions at the heart of Springsteen’s music, demonstrating the ways his songs have resonated for millions of listeners for nearly five decades.
Commemorating the Boss’s seventieth birthday, Long Walk Home explores Springsteen’s legacy and provides a stirring set of testimonials that illustrate why his music matters.
About the Author
JONATHAN D. COHEN received his PhD in history from the University of Virginia. He is the managing editor of BOSS: The Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies and the coeditor of All In: The Spread of Gambling in Twentieth-Century United States (2018).
JUNE SKINNER SAWYERS has published extensively on Bruce Springsteen, including Racing in the Street: The Bruce Springsteen Reader (2004) and Workingman: The Faith-Based Politics ofBruce Springsteen (2014). Born in Glasgow, she currently teaches humanities courses at the Newberry Library in Chicago.
“Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen at 70 offers a comprehensive, timely overview of Springsteen’s life and work. The eminently qualified essayists in Sawyers and Cohen’s anthology astutely address Springsteen’s achievement in terms of the artist’s evolving legacy, with a valuable accent upon exploring his lasting contributions to twentieth- and twenty-first- century popular music and culture.”
— Kenneth Womack
— NJ Arts
"A killer collection of Boss studies and stories, as varied as Springsteen's own body of work and a fitting tribute to the man — at 70, both an American legend and an artist as vital as ever."
— Christopher Phillips
"Taken together, the 26 essays in Long Walk Home give readers a rich understanding of why the Boss matters so profoundly to his audience; how each of us has been moved, challenged, and shaped by Springsteen's music."
— Roxanne Harde
"Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen did something I wouldn’t have thought possible: it deepened my appreciation for the artist by broadening my understanding of his relevance and influence. I’d long known that Bruce had wide, diverse, international appeal. Now I have a better understanding of why. Highly recommended."
— E Street Shuffle
"Rutgers Professor Reflects on Springsteen's Legacy ahead of ''The Boss's'' 70th Birthday," by Cynthia Medina
— Rutgers Today
"Springsteen at 70: Remembering When The Boss Rocked New Brunswick" by TAP into New Brunswick
— TAP into New Brunswick
"In a collection as carefully compiled as a Springsteen album, Cohen and Booklist contributor Sawyers celebrate the Boss at 70....For more than four decades, Springsteen’s music has been part of our popular music and culture and will continue to be, long after his final album is released. As this compilation illustrates, his 'Glory Days' are far from over."
"Celebrating Bruce at 70," by Tammy La Gorce
— New Jersey Monthly
"Dermot Bolger: 'As Bruce turns 70, I thank him for giving voice to my world,'" excerpt from Long Walk Home
— Irish Independent
"Springsteen at Seventy," by Wesley Stace
— New York Review of Books
"The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen And The Wide Divide," excerpted from A.O. Scott's piece in Long Walk Home
— NPR Books
"Why Bruce Springsteen is the soundtrack of the 2020 primary," by Jonathan D. Cohen
— Washington Post
"Rutgers Professor Reflects on Springsteen's Legacy for ''The Boss's' 70th Birthday," by Cynthia Medina
— Rutgers Today
"Relatable passages and...excellent writing."
— Newark Star-Ledger
"Bruce Springsteen Is Jew-ish: He may be Catholic, but to many fans—including this one—his lyrics speak to a different creed," by Eric Alterman
— The Atlantic
"Growing Up With Bruce Springsteen: I wouldn’t be the man I am without him," by Eric Alterman
— Public Seminar
"That’s the greatest joy of Long Walk Home—the little details from fan’s lives, intersecting with moments of historical and artistic significance."
— Third Coast Review