Stand and Be Counted: Making Music, Making History the Dramatic Story of the Artists and Events That Changed America

David Crosby, Author, Crosby, Author, David Bender, Joint Author HarperOne $25 (244p) ISBN 978-0-06-251574-2
Subtitled ""the Dramatic Story of the Artists and Causes that Changed America,"" this music history by Crosby (singer-songwriter of 1960s-1970s legends Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) and Bender ( a political activist and founding editor of George magazine) present an overview of the musicians who stimulated America's political consciousness. This well-intentioned chronicle meets the authors' self-proclaimed goal of presenting ""stories that are meant to give a sense of the wide range of activism in which artists are involved,"" as well as offering ""a glimpse of where that ethic of activism came from, how it's grown over the years, what it's accomplished, and how it's been transmitted down the line."" However, unlike Crosby's autobiography Long Time Gone, in which co-author/activist Carl Gottlieb's insightful analyses of aspects of Southern California culture gave weight to Crosby's wild tales of stoned-out times, this book reads like a collection of news clippings on more than 100 major events such as George Harrison's Bangladesh benefit, the No Nukes benefit, Live Aid, ""We Are the World"" and Comic Relief. (Crosby even admits to maintaining his Woodstock Concert-formed belief that ""half a million people yelling Fuck! at the top of their lungs is one hell of a powerful political statement."") Crosby is sincere in his belief that musicians can help ""create a climate where [world change] can happen."" But this book remains more an easy-reader of protest rock than any sort of hardheaded, insightful look at the way popular music has influenced and been influenced by politics. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!