In this hour, when you think about social change, whether it's the 1960's with Civil Rights and the Vietnam War or 1989 with the Berlin Wall and Tiannamen Square, what you remember is the music. This hour, singing the revolution, starting with a voice that truly stands out - Bob Dylan. Historian Sean Wilentz has a new book called Bob Dylan in America, and he tells Jim Fleming the birth of Dylan's music is deeply bound up in the politics of the time.
Next, if there is one song more than any other that shimmers with political and emotional resonance, it's "We Shall Overcome." Singer-songwriter Stuart Stotts has written a biography of the song called We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World. He tells Anne Strainchamps his father got him interested in its history.
Then, Deb Olin Unferth was swept up in the 80's revolution in Central American out of love. She followed her boyfriend George, converting to Christianity, dropping out of school, and hitting the road. Her book is Revolution and she tells Anne Strainchamps what it was like to be a vocational revolutionary in 1980s Central America.
Finally, 1989 has been called "the end of history." It witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of revolution in Eastern Europe and the Tiannamen Square protest in China. Poet and music critic Joshua Clover wrote 1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This To Sing About. Steve Paulson asked him to explain the subtitle. [Broadcast Date: January 27, 2012]
Listen to Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz.
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