This Land That I Love by John Shaw audiobook

This Land That I Love: Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, and the Story of Two American Anthems

By John Shaw
Read by Traber Burns

Blackstone Publishing 9781610392235
7.33 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • Regular Price: $19.95

    Special Price $9.98

    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781482931846

  • Regular Price: $6.95

    Special Price $2.78

    ISBN: 9781482160987

  • Regular Price: $29.95

    Special Price $17.97

    ISBN: 9781482931877

  • Regular Price: $29.95

    Special Price $17.97

    ISBN: 9781482931860

A narrative history of the writing of “This Land Is YourLand” and “God Bless America” that uncovers the conflicts and common groundbetween two classic patriotic songs February, 1940. After a decade of worldwide depression,World War II had begun in Europe and Asia. With Germany on the march and Japanat war with China, the global crisis was in a crescendo. America’s topsongwriter, Irving Berlin, had captured the nation’s mood a little more than ayear before with his patriotic hymn “God Bless America.” Woody Guthrie was having none of it. Near-starving andpenniless, he was traveling from Texas to New York to make a new start. As heeked his way across the country by bus and by thumb, he couldn’t avoid Berlin’ssong. Some people say that it was when he was freezing by the side of the roadin a Pennsylvania snowstorm that he conceived of a rebuttal. It would encompassthe dark realities of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, and it would beginwith the lines “This land is your land, this land is my land.” In This Land That ILove, John Shaw writes the dual biography of these beloved American songs.Examining the lives of their authors, he finds that Guthrie and Berlin had morein common than either could have guessed. Though Guthrie’s image was defined bytrain-hopping, Irving Berlin had also risen from homelessness, having workedhis way up from the streets of New York. At the same time, ThisLand That I Love sheds new light on our patriotic musical heritage, from“Yankee Doodle” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” to Martin Luther King’srecitation from “My Country ’Tis of Thee” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorialin August 1963. Delving into the deeper history of war songs, minstrelsy,ragtime, country music, folk music, and African American spirituals, Shawunearths a rich vein of half-forgotten musical traditions. With the aid ofarchival research, he uncovers new details about the songs, including anever-before-printed verse for “This Land Is Your Land.” The result is afascinating narrative that refracts and reenvisions America’s tumultuoushistory through the prism of two unforgettable anthems.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

One of Atlantic’s Notable Releases for Fall 2013

A narrative history of the writing of “This Land Is YourLand” and “God Bless America” that uncovers the conflicts and common groundbetween two classic patriotic songs

February, 1940. After a decade of worldwide depression,World War II had begun in Europe and Asia. With Germany on the march and Japanat war with China, the global crisis was in a crescendo. America’s topsongwriter, Irving Berlin, had captured the nation’s mood a little more than ayear before with his patriotic hymn “God Bless America.”

Woody Guthrie was having none of it. Near-starving andpenniless, he was traveling from Texas to New York to make a new start. As heeked his way across the country by bus and by thumb, he couldn’t avoid Berlin’ssong. Some people say that it was when he was freezing by the side of the roadin a Pennsylvania snowstorm that he conceived of a rebuttal. It would encompassthe dark realities of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, and it would beginwith the lines “This land is your land, this land is my land.”

In This Land That ILove, John Shaw writes the dual biography of these beloved American songs.Examining the lives of their authors, he finds that Guthrie and Berlin had morein common than either could have guessed. Though Guthrie’s image was defined bytrain-hopping, Irving Berlin had also risen from homelessness, having workedhis way up from the streets of New York.

At the same time, ThisLand That I Love sheds new light on our patriotic musical heritage, from“Yankee Doodle” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” to Martin Luther King’srecitation from “My Country ’Tis of Thee” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorialin August 1963. Delving into the deeper history of war songs, minstrelsy,ragtime, country music, folk music, and African American spirituals, Shawunearths a rich vein of half-forgotten musical traditions. With the aid ofarchival research, he uncovers new details about the songs, including anever-before-printed verse for “This Land Is Your Land.” The result is afascinating narrative that refracts and reenvisions America’s tumultuoushistory through the prism of two unforgettable anthems.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“John Shaw, who has written about music for various publications, attacks his subject with the enthusiasm of a fan and the dedication of a scholar…Shaw has much to say about the lives and careers of Berlin and Guthrie and about the musical traditions from which they emerged. (He is particularly insightful about Guthrie’s debt to the country-music pioneers the Carter Family)…When he sticks to his subject—as when he examines the distinctly American strain of mysticism at the heart of both “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land”—Shaw can be entertaining and informative.” New York Times Book Review
“Engaging…Shaw wields an impressive grasp of American musical history.” Boston Globe
“The juxtaposition of two of America’s most enduring national anthems. The beginning of this provocative history of Woody Guthrie’s persistent folk song and elementary school staple “This Land is Your Land” and Irving Berlin’s overly sentimental “God Bless America” is a visceral scene.” Kirkus Reviews
“[Shaw] is particularly good at nailing down the melodic ancestors for these great American anthems and for tracing the various revisions Berlin and Guthrie made to their songs along the way…This Land That I Love traverses, in a relatively small number of pages, the whole canvas of America.” Slate
“[Shaw] effectively connects [‘This Land Is Your Land’] to earlier anthems…Ultimately, This Land That I Love is about more than two songs or the two men who created them.” Daily Beast
“In telling the stories of those unofficial US national anthems…Shaw tells those of most of their predecessors, too, including the official one, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’…The recommended listening essay is full of fascination. Booklist
“Shaw…traces the similarities between Berlin’s and Guthrie’s upbringings, comparing some of the forces that may have led each writer to what would eventually become his most recognizable song.” Publishers Weekly
“Within a frame of the deepest familiarity, John Shaw rescues forgotten stories and excavates stories never told before. The book is generous, open, questing, and blazingly incisive: with a sentence, maybe two or three, he gets to the heart of such unsolved mysteries as blackface, the concept of folk, or the loop of celebrity and history in modern life.” Griel Marcus, music critic and author of Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces
“John Shaw analyzes the songs ‘God Bless America’ and ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and the men who wrote them, Irving Berlin and Woody Guthrie. Occasionally, Traber Burns’ reading of the lyrics of these familiar songs sounds a little bit odd; they should be sung, after all. There’s also some discomforting dialect, since Berlin used racial and ethnic themes in songs earlier in his career. Still, this is an engaging reading, with particularly good voice work on historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt. It brings listeners into the world that Berlin and Guthrie worked in. With the additional examination of the earlier ‘Yankee Doodle,’ listeners get a good look at the American psyche through music.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: John Shaw

Author Bio: John Shaw

John Shaw has written on music and theater for the LA Review of Books and Chicago Reader. He has written more than 250 songs, including music and lyrics for three full-length and numerous short plays that have been produced in Seattle, Chicago, and elsewhere. He lives in Seattle.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 7.33
Audience: Adult
Language: English