cover image Pastures of Plenty: A Self-Portrait

Pastures of Plenty: A Self-Portrait

Woody Guthrie. HarperCollins Publishers, $29.95 (259pp) ISBN 978-0-06-016342-6

This collection of stories, poems, songs, letters, diary entries, essays, newspaper articles, photographs and drawings--most of which have not been published before--gives new insight into the life and character of the beloved folk singer Woody Guthrie (1912-1967). Culling material from Leventhal's voluminous files of Guthrie memorabilia, Marsh ( Born to Run ) and Leventhal, who was Guthrie's manager, present a chronologically arranged selection of works in which Guthrie expresses his thoughts about himself, his life and his political beliefs--from his early days in Oklahoma to 1954, when Huntington's chorea left him almost completely incapacitated. The writings--free-form, humorous, eccentric and intensely individualistic--encompass all aspects of Guthrie's personality and reveal much about what he was striving to achieve with his social activism and often unconventional behavior. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)