Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading

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Duke University Press, May 3, 2019 - Music - 416 pages
In this generous collection of book reviews and literary essays, legendary Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau showcases the passion that made him a critic—his love for the written word. Many selections address music, from blackface minstrelsy to punk and hip-hop, artists from Lead Belly to Patti Smith, and fellow critics from Ellen Willis and Lester Bangs to Nelson George and Jessica Hopper. But Book Reports also teases out the popular in the Bible and 1984 as well as pornography and science fiction, and analyzes at length the cultural theory of Raymond Williams, the detective novels of Walter Mosley, the history of bohemia, and the 2008 financial crisis. It establishes Christgau as not just the Dean of American Rock Critics, but one of America's most insightful cultural critics as well.
 

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Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading

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Veteran music critic Christgau (Going into the City) assembles a wide swath of book reviews, written over the past half century, by turns impressively meticulous and frustratingly self-indulgent ... Read full review

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
John Leonards When the Kissing Had to Stop
Why Postmodern Minstrelsy Studies Matter
Ken Emersons DooDah
David B Coplans In Township Tonight
Charles and Angeliki Keils Bright Balkan Morning
David Hajdus Positively 4th Street
Steven Hagers Hip Hop David Toops The Rap Attack
George Orwells 1984
Richard Brautigans Sombrero Fallout
Robert Coovers Geralds Party
Normans Rushs Mortals
Sandra Newmans The Country of Ice Cream Star
Jerrold Seigels Bohemian Paris and T J Clarks The Painting
Christine Stansells American Moderns
Ed Sanderss The Family

Fred Goodmans The Mansion on the Hill
Susan McClarys Feminine Endings
Charlie Gilletts The Sound of the City
Kevin Averys Everything Is an Afterthought and Nona Willis Aronowitzs
Meltzers A Whore Just Like the Rest and Nick Toschess The Nick Tosches Reader
William Yorks Whos Who in Rock Music
James Millers Flowers in the Dustbin
Hanif Abdurraqibs They Cant Kill Us Until They Kill
Nick Toschess Hellfire and Robert Palmers Jerry Lee Lewis Rocks
Bob Dylans Chronicles Volume One and Dave Van Ronks The Mayor
Train
Carol Brightmans Sweet Chaos
John Heidenrys What Wild Ecstasy
Meredith Marans What Its Like to Live
C L R Jamess Beyond a Boundary
Nadine Strossens Defending Pornography Joanna Fruehs Erotic
Ten Books About the Financial Crisis
Raymond Williamss Long Revolution
Terry Eagletons Culture and the Death of God Culture
INDEX
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About the author (2019)

Robert Christgau wrote for and edited at The Village Voice from 1969 to 2006 and currently contributes a weekly record column at Noisey. His books include Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967–2017, also published by Duke University Press, and Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man.

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