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Posted October 20, 2014
Posted July 21, 2013
When reviewing books at Barnes and Noble, be careful not to use quotation marks. They turn up in the body of your review as code rather than punctuation, which makes you look like an idiot.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 14, 2013
The author of the "review" posted June 24, 2001 is writing about the original edition, out of print for many years, not the revised and updated Nook edition. In any case, he/she writes that the book is "without any sense of the broader historical context", while the reviewers of the first edition found "a bracing synthesis of the whole history of American pop music..." and a "capacity to make connections across decades, and sometimes even centuries" and "a brilliant historian of popular music." I think the majority rules in this case.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 24, 2001
Donald Clarke is the author of a respected encyclopedia of popular music, and this book shows it. The book reads as if Clarke had strung together entries from his encyclopedia without any sense of the broader historical context that would grab and sustain a reader's interest. There are large and curious omissions: early white folk music is given scant attention and is crammed into a chapter with the development of blues (which does neither one justice); motivations for important decisions of major players of all genres are missing; the social and economic context of popular music at all stages is barely mentioned. You do, however, get to learn how many of the major figures die, if you're into that sort of thing, but generally not how they grew up musically, or who their influences are. Essentially, this book is a very long list of the members of various bands and the songs they played.
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