The Beatles and the Historians

An Analysis of Writings About the Fab Four


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About the Book

Hundreds of books have been written about The Beatles. Over the last half century, their story has been mythologized and de-mythologized and presented by biographers and journalists as history. Yet many of these works do not strictly qualify as history and the story of how the Beatles’ mythology continues to be told has been largely ignored. This book examines the band’s historiography, exploring the four major narratives that have developed over time: The semi-whitewashed “Fab Four” account, the acrimonious breakup-era Lennon Remembers version, the biased “Shout!” narrative in the wake of John Lennon’s murder, and the current Mark Lewisohn orthodoxy. Drawing on the most influential primary and secondary sources, Beatles history is analyzed using historical methods.

About the Author(s)

Erin Torkelson Weber teaches American history at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas.

Bibliographic Details

Erin Torkelson Weber

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 268
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6266-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2470-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5
One. The Fab Four Narrative 13
Two. The Lennon Remembers Narrative 67
Three. The Shout! Narrative 114
Four. The Lewisohn Narrative 151
Afterword: ­Post-Lewisohn Beatles Historiography 210
Chapter Notes 215
Bibliography 243
Index 251

Book Reviews & Awards

“discusses the many works about the group published since 1962…Weber argues that few if any [previous works] have used historical methods-and that is what he applies here”—Communications Booknotes Quarterly.