Published in 1999 (just following Bruce Springsteen's reunion with his E Street bandmates), Eric Alterman's It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You're Alive offers the usual biographical details of Springsteen's personal life, professional dealings, and musical output. Longtime fans, surely familiar with Springsteen's background, may find scant novelty, but, as a rock bio, it's as good a place to begin as Peter Ames Carlin's Bruce for the uninitiated. Where Alterman's book shines brightest is in his situating of Bruce's music and lyrics within their social context and cultural milieu. When Alterman applies reasoned analysis and critical thought (benefiting from decades elapsed) to the success of Bruce's songwriting and global fandom, his perspective brings great depth and understanding. As much a love letter to Springsteen as it is a proper bio or critique, It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You're Alive is a strong entry in the canon of literature venerating, who may well be, the finest American songwriter of the past half-century. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Political journalist Eric Alterman examines the unique phenomenon that is The Boss and how he has come to reflect and interpret a turbulent quarter century of American history.
Bruce Springsteen, The Boss, is an authentic American hero. Eric Alterman investigates the man, his music and his audience.
About the Author
Eric Alterman is distinguished professor of English and journalism at Brooklyn College and the graduate school of journalism at the City University of New York. He is the author of the national bestsellers What Liberal Media?, The Book on Bush (with Mark Green), and When Presidents Lie.