Excerpt (3.7 MB)
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English, Literature, and Modern Languages
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This excerpt of Bruce Springsteen: American Poet and Prophet (pp. 1-21) by Donald L. Deardorff, 2013, was reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield.
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Like other major musical artists, Bruce Springsteen’s work has reflected, revealed, and reacted to modern American realities over the course of his forty-year career.
Since releasing his first record in 1973, Springsteen has sold more than a hundred million albums worldwide, played thousands of concerts, and won Grammy, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Academy awards. More importantly, however, he is one of the few twentieth-century singer-songwriters to serve as the voice of his generation, a defining artist whose works reflect the values, dreams, and concerns of many Americans. In Bruce Springsteen: American Poet and Prophet, Donald L. Deardorff II explores the works of “The Boss,” defining the exact nature of Springsteen’s cultural influence.
With the release of seventeen studio albums, Springsteen’s influence and popularity spans multiple generations. Deardorff classifies and explains Springsteen’s remarkable reception as it evolved from small beginnings in the Jersey shore bars of the 1970s to worldwide fame today. This book thoughtfully considers the trenchant commentary Springsteen’s albums make on the mythology of the American Dream, working-class concerns, the changing character of American masculinity, the relationship between Americans and their government, the importance of social justice, and the evocation of an American spirit.
Bruce Springsteen: American Poet and Prophet will appeal to more than just Springsteen fans. It describes Springsteen as an apt critic of his own culture, whose music paints literary portraits that uncover the realities of an American society constantly evolving, while striving toward its own betterment.
Listen to an interview of Dr. Deardorff on the New Books Network.
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Arts and Humanities | Music
About the Author
Dr. Donald L. Deardorff II joined the Cedarville University faculty in 1996 and was granted tenure and promotion in 2002. He teaches courses in American literature and criticism and oversees the Senior Seminar in English. He has published several articles on literature and men's studies and is a frequent presenter at meetings of the American Literature Association, the American Culture Association, and the Conference on Christianity and Literature. His books include Sports: A Reference Guide and Critical Commentary (2000), The Hero and Anti-Hero in the American Football Novel: Changing Conceptions of Masculinity From The Nineteenth Century to the Twenty-First Century (2006), The Image of God in the Human Body: Essays on Christianity and Sports (2009), and Bruce Springsteen: American Poet and Prophet (2014). He is currently working on a memoir. He plays ice hockey, and he and his wife particularly enjoy having students over to their house. They are mentors in Cedarville's Fit to Be Tied Program.
Visit Dr. Deardorff's SelectedWorks page.
Deardorff, Donald L. II, "Bruce Springsteen: American Poet and Prophet" (2013). Faculty Books. 162.