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