Woody Guthrie : an intimate life

by Stadler, Gustavus,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 782.4216 GUTHRIE Woody Sta
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  782.4216 GUTHRIE Woody Sta
Dismantles the Woody Guthrie we have been taught--the rough and ready rambling man--to reveal an artist who discovered how intimacy is crucial for political struggle.

Woody Guthrie is often mythologized as the quintessential American "ramblin' man," a real life Steinbeckian folk hero, who fought for working class interests and mentored Bob Dylan. Biographers and fans frame him as a foe of fascism and focus on his politically charged folk songs. What's less examined is how the bulk of his work--most of which is unpublished or little-known--explores the role of illness and intimacy in leftist political thinking.

American studies scholar Gustavus Stadler revives Guthrie's story as a dramatic portrait understood more fully through the lens of disability and close relationships, as he faced setbacks including his daughter's death, an obscenity arrest, therapy in a sex deviance clinic, and repeated stays in mental wards. Guthrie believed art was an instrument for breaking down the boundaries between people, boundaries that make them vulnerable to fascism's call. When paired with unionism, art is thus a powerful weapon against loneliness and isolation, the customary emotional states of capitalist cultures. Fresh and timely, Stadler shows how Guthrie can serve as a model for modern leftists grappling with the dehumanizing mechanisms of capitalism and fascism today.
When to Be Personal
"I Don't Sing Any Silly or Jerky Songs"
Choreographing the Revolution
"I Hate to Describe My Mother in Terms Such as These"
The War Against Loneliness
Bodies of Glory
Two Good Men a Long Time Gone
"The Whole Works"
"Sick in His Own Healthy Way"
Look Away
"Exactly How My Own Mother Saw and Felt."

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Just when you thought you knew Woody Guthrie, the troubadour who lived a singular American life, along comes a revealing and reorienting new portrait. Based on a vast archive of journals, letters, and artworks, this brief biographical essay focuses on the tragedies, traumas, and sometimes startling interior landscapes that shaped Guthrie's life and work in mostly underacknowledged ways. Wrenching early violence and his mother's physical and mental disintegration were only the beginning. Dust Bowl wanderings and music-making gave Guthrie his influential new path. Stadler's scholarly filters concerning the body and politics open the door to new angles on Guthrie's sense of vulnerable lives and racial justice. The bodily theme resonates in Guthrie's fateful encounter with New York's modern dance scene of 1942. Enhancing his leftist cultural context, it led to a creative triumph as well as to his second marriage (of three). But looming over his art and his increasingly erratic behavior was the personal horror of Huntington's disease, the neurological mystery that afflicted his mother. It didn't fully quash his writing, but it led to his death at 55."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Guthrie, Woody, -- 1912-1967.
Folk singers -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher Boston, Massachusetts :2020
Language English
Description 228 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780807018910
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