Wilentz is an historian by trade and it shows in his almost-anthropological survey of Dylan and the highlights of his life. It's almost as if Dylan himself were whispering the stories of his successes and travails into Wilentz's ear. But this book is not just for Dylan fans. Wilentz, whose family owned the famed 8th Street Bookshop in New York, has many fascinating tales to tell, covering figures as diverse as Aaron Copland and Blind Willie McTell. What can Bob Dylan tell us about America, about its literature, music, religion and politics? — Recommended by Don, City Lights Books
Sean Wilentz discovered Bob Dylan's music as a teenager growing up in Greenwich Village. Now, almost half a century later, he revisits Dylan’s work with the skills of an eminent American historian as well as the passion of a fan.
Beginning with Dylan’s explosion onto the scene in 1961, Wilentz follows the emerging artist as he develops a body of work unique in America’s cultural history. Using his unprecedented access to studio tapes, recording notes, and rare photographs, he places Dylan’s music in the context of its time and offers a stunning critical appreciation of Dylan both as a songwriter and performer.