From the acclaimed literary biographer of Kurt Vonnegut and Harper Lee comes the life story of a song, one of the most iconic ever written: John Lennon's "Imagine".
"Twenty-two lines of graceful, plain-spoken faith in the power of a world to repair and change itself," said Rolling Stone. Only 183 seconds long, the simple melody and poetry captured the wounded hopefulness of its moment - and transcended its time to inspire generations that followed.
Charles J. Shields traces the song's origins - from the fire-bombing of Tokyo during Yoko Ono's youth to the violent death of Lennon's mother during his adolescence, from Lennon's post-Ed Sullivan skepticism to John and Yoko's Bed-Ins of 1969 - and unearths the secrets of its lasting import. If music can change the world, "Imagine" came as close as any song might. This is its story.