The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Redemption, from Asbury Park to Magic

Jeffrey B. Symynkywicz, Author Westminster John Knox $16.95 (197p) ISBN 978-0-664-23169-9

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 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, multilayered 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. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
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