Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye

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Basic Books, Dec 28, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 290 pages
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The best-selling Motown artist of all time, Marvin Gaye defined the hopes and shattered dreams of an entire generation. Twenty years after his tragic death-he was shot by his father-his relevance persists because of the indelible mark his outsized talent left on American culture. A transcendent performer whose career spanned the history of rhythm and blues, from doo-wop to the sultriest of soul music, Gaye's artistic scope and emotional range set the soundtrack for America's tumultuous coming of age in the 1970s. Michael Eric Dyson's searching narrative illuminates Marvin Gaye's stellar ascendance-from a black church in Washington, D.C., to the artistic peak of What's Going On?-and charts his sobering personal decline. Dyson draws from interviews with those closest to Gaye to paint an intimate portrait of the tensions and themes that shaped contemporary urban America: racism, drug abuse, economic adversity, and the long legacy of hardship. Gaye's stormy relationships with women, including duet partner Tammi Terrell and wives Anna Gordy and Janis Hunter, are examined in light of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Dyson also considers family violence in the larger context of the African-American life and how that heartbreaking legacy resulted in Gaye's murder. Mercy, Mercy, Me is an unforgettable portrait of a beloved black genius whose art is reflected in the dynamism of contemporary urban America.
 

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User Review  - Gitaklu - LibraryThing

This was a very interesting book. I started reading this right after I saw an online presentation of the state of the world today within the black communities across America. The background music for ... Read full review

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Interesting look into the mind of a musical genius and truly tortured human being. The Loves and Demons of one of the greatest singers of all time.

Contents

I
5
II
47
III
97
IV
127
V
157
VI
191
VII
229
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About the author (2004)

Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me, Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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