Acclaimed cultural critic Greil Marcus tells the story of Bob Dylan through the lens of seven penetrating songs Â â€œThe most interesting writer on Dylan over the years has been the cultural critic Greil Marcus. . . . No one alive knows the music that fueled Dylanâ€™s imagination better. . . . Folk Music . . . [is an] ingenious book of close listening.â€â€”David Remnick, New Yorker Â Named a Best Music Book of 2022 by Rolling Stone Â â€œFurther elevates Marcus to what he has always been: a supreme artist-critic.â€â€”Hilton Als Â Across seven decades, Bob Dylan has been the first singer of American song. As a writer and performer, he has rewritten the national songbook in a way that comes from his own vision and yet can feel as if it belongs to anyone who might listen.
Â In Folk Music, Greil Marcus tells Dylanâ€™s story through seven of his most transformative songs. Marcusâ€™s point of departure is Dylanâ€™s ability to â€œsee myself in others.â€ Like Dylanâ€™s songs, this book is a work of implicit patriotism and creative skepticism. It illuminates Dylanâ€™s continuing presence and relevance through his empathyâ€”his imaginative identification with other people. This is not only a deeply felt telling of the life and times of Bob Dylan but a rich history of American folk songs and the new life they were given as Dylan sat down to write his own.