Bruce Springsteen and the American Soul

Essays on the Songs and Influence of a Cultural Icon

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About the Book

For 40 years Bruce Springsteen has been making music on his way to becoming an icon, the conscience of rock ’n’ roll, and one of the greatest live performers of his generation. This critical work examines the man, his music, the cultural importance of his narrative songs and the singular experience of his live performances. Particular attention is paid to his political consciousness, including his alignment with the working poor, the unemployed, and Americans simply down on their luck. It also explores his role in politics in America, especially his endorsement of various politicians.

About the Author(s)

David Garrett Izzo is an emeritus professor of English who has published 16 books and 60 essays of literary scholarship, as well as three novels and two plays. He lives in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by David Garrett Izzo
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 266
Bibliographic Info: notes, discography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5908-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Conscience of Rock ’n’ Roll
DAVID GARRETT IZZO      1

Fanfare for the Common Man: Magic
DANA SAWYER      7
In Concert: A Transcendental Celebration
DAVID GARRETT IZZO      14
Songwriting and Political Awareness: The Development of
Springsteen’s Emotional Community
ADAM ALIANO      19
From the “Badlands” to “The Promised Land”: How Past and Present America Has Affected the Lives of Springsteen’s Characters
JASON W. FAULKNER      37
Queen of the Supermarket: Representations of Working Class Women
LISA DELMONICO      45
The Virgin, the Whore, the Girl Next Door: Seeking the Definitive “Mary”
KEITH FUDGE      56
Springsteen’s American Stories in Devils in Dust and The Seeger Sessions
ROBERT MCPARLAND      63
Going Nowhere: Bruce, the Beatles, Neil Young, Talking Heads and Others
DAVID GELLMAN      67
Ten Things You Don’t Know About Scholarship on Springsteen
DENISE D. GREEN      78
Growin’ Up with Springsteen
HERPREET KAUR GREWAL      85
“World Without Pity”: The Tragic Vision of Bruce Springsteen
LINCOLN KONKLE      93
An Opera on the Turnpike: Musical Form and Narrative Myth in the Early Works
BARRY LONG      103
Lost! Can We Find Our Way Back Home on Magic?
LORRAINE MANGIONE      111
Let Me Show You What Love Can Do—The Messages of Working on a Dream
DOUG MORRIS      124
The Key to the Universe: Springsteen, Masculinity, and the Car
KATHERINE PARKIN      136
Evangelism from E Street: Brother Springsteen’s Salvation Show
SUSAN WOGE      142
Here Everybody Has a Neighbor: Springsteen’s Narrative of Community
APRIL LINDNER      152
“Highway Patrolman”: An Application of Sibling Theory and Research
JONATHAN CASPI      160
“Mr. State Trooper, Please Don’t Stop Me”: The Image of Police in the Songs
SUSAN HAMBURGER      173
John Wayne and Bruce Springsteen Staying Home: How Not Going to War Influenced the Careers of Two American Popular Icons
LARS A. ROSSLAND      183
Long Walk Home: Nostalgia and the Retro Postmodern Artist
ELIZABETH SEYMOUR      190
Growin’ Up: The Progression of Springsteen’s Music as It Relates to Erikson’s Theory of Development
JIM AZAR      199
On the Edge
STEVAN WEINE      209
Seeger, Dylan, and Springsteen: The Folk Tradition Alive and Well in America
MARIANNE MURAWSKI      216
Springsteen’s Intimations of Mortality
ALEX PITOFSKY      226
Springsteen: Growin’ Up, Growing Older: A Route Map for the Long Walk Home
MELANIE HENWOOD      233

Discography      245
About the Contributors      247
Copyright Acknowledgments      251
Index      253