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Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, a driver rolled down his window and shouted to Bruce Springsteen, "We need you-now!" A few days later Springsteen appeared as part of a telethon to help victims' families, and not long after released The Rising, with "Into the Fire" as a tribute to the 343 lost firefighters. It wasn't the first or last time America would need the Boss-his support kept the Vietnam Veterans of America from disbanding, and his social critique since 9/11 has been loud in its protest of the Iraq War. According to Symynkywicz, Born in the USA is not only Springsteen's greatest album, it represents the ambiguity of his gospel, his lover's quarrel with an America he loves and fumes against. Symynkywicz explores these theological and political questions with the deftness of a Harvard-trained minister and a great Springsteen fan. He has clearly pored over these lyrics, multi-layered as they are, and sifted them through a theological filter. At times he offers a bit too much detail. Other times you'll want to stop reading, turn on the Boss and dance in the dark, maybe even praying while you do.
In this engaging book, Jeffrey Symynkywicz, a minister and dedicated Springsteen fan, shows us that Bruce Spingsteen's enduring importance stems largely from the rich spiritual themes that run throughout his albums. With a lively and engaging style, Symynkywicz probes each of Springsteen's albums and shows how his music helps make sense of the many threads of our lives, including experiences of sin and redemption, fear and courage, and--above all--faith, hope, and love.
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