The World of Bob Dylan Edited by Sean Latham

Bob Dylan has helped transform music, literature, pop culture, and even politics.


The World of Bob Dylan chronicles a lifetime of creative invention that has made a global impact. Leading rock and pop critics and music scholars address themes and topics central to Dylan’s life and work: the Blues, his religious faith, Civil Rights, gender, race, and American and World literature. Incorporating a rich array of new archival material from never-before-accessed archives,

The book offers a comprehensive, uniquely informed, and wholly fresh account of the songwriter, artist, filmmaker, and Nobel Laureate, whose unique voice has permanently reshaped our cultural landscape. Is there any writer or performer more haunting –and more haunted –than Bob Dylan?

We recognize his songs, his vision, his inventiveness, his poetry, and especially his distinctive voice nearly everywhere: in music and film, popular culture and politics, global protest movements and intimate moments of self-reflection.

As he now turns eighty, it’s a shock to realize that, for most us, Dylan has always been there, singing, touring, laughing, snarling, and sometimes even hawking whiskey and underwear. Like the members of the Nobel committee that awarded him the world’s most important cultural prize, we know he is a vastly influential artist. But which Dylan is it?

The folk-singing activist who shared the stage with Dr. King at the March on Washington?

The rocker in Ray Bans and a leather jacket who faced down hostile crowds by ordering his band to “play it fucking loud?”

Is it the country boy who went to Nashville and befriended Johnny Cash? Or the Beat-inspired hipster who took to the road with a ramshackle medicine show?

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