Quotes about Dylan Goes Electric!

"a great work of scholarship, brimming with insight – among the best music books I have ever read."
--John Harris, The Guardian newspaper

"splendid, colorful work of musicology and cultural history... Mr. Wald is a superb analyst of the events he describes."
--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"excellent... a rich study of the clash between cultural authenticity and commercial success."
--Timothy Farrington, Wall St. Journal

"With...Wald's unswervingly measured tone, lucid style and disdain for sensationalism, Dylan Goes Electric! may be his best yet, digging deeper into well-trodden ground than ever before, finding all sorts of nuggets to modify the myth."
-- Mat Snow, Mojo

"Elijah Wald is a very fine writer – his prose has rhythm and clarity backed up by solid research and sound opinions.... That he has managed to pack so much information into little over 300 pages and in a way that brings that era to life so vividly and puts you at the centre of the action is a small miracle. If you only ever read one other Bob Dylan book ever again make it this one."
--Andy Childs, Caught by the River

"...one of the best music journalists around.... As told by Wald, the story of Dylan at Newport is not so much about music as it is about stories themselves, how they mesmerize even as they bumble along and don't always end cleanly. The truth is often messy. And usually that messiness makes for a better story."
--David Kirby, Washington Post

"easily the definitive account of Newport ’65... this book differs from most of the other innumerable books on Dylan because Wald sees him Dylan as a rock and roller from the start, which in fact he was.... It’s a view of Dylan that is refreshing and perceptive."
--Peter Stone Brown, Counterpunch

"It’s to Wald’s credit that I finished the book unsure whether I would have cheered, booed or had the wisdom to be ambivalent."
--Dorian Lynskey, The Spectator

"touchingly captures a period and a mood...a major contribution to modern musical history."
--Mark Levine, Booklist, starred review.

"revealing and simply a great read"
--Henry Carrigan, No Depression

"Elijah Wald's book... feels like a personal statement of an important part of my life. I can't recommend it  enough to anyone who is interested in those extraordinary years."
-George Wein, founder of the Newport Folk Festival

"Dylan’s wild turn at Newport was mutinous, monumental. Elijah Wald’s devastatingly smart analysis of that night – and everything that preceded it, and everything that came after – is just as thrilling. Wald is a remarkably sharp and graceful writer, capable of drawing extraordinary connections between artists, genres, and cultural moments. There’s simply no one better when it comes to unpacking not just the mechanics of American music, but the mythology of American music – the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we believe."
--Amanda Petrusich, author of Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78rpm Records.

"Uh-oh: here comes Elijah Wald, skewering the accepted version with those ornery facts again, just like he did with Robert Johnson in Escaping the Delta and lots of other folks in How The Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll. In concise and entertaining fashion, this meticulously-researched book shows why the story it tells is important, and leaves you with as clear an idea as anyone but Bob Dylan has of what actually happened that night. It's a great story, masterfully told, of how the times were, indeed, a-changin' -- and why."
--Ed Ward, rock and roll historian for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and author of Michael Bloomfield: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero.

"Elijah Wald is the kind of writer who turns your head around. His deeply informed alternate takes on popular music fans' most beloved assumptions not only fill in gaps, they reorient the whole cultural landscape. In past books, he's done it for the blues and the Beatles; now he takes on the sacredest cow of all, Bob Dylan at Newport in 1965. What Wald reveals about that most mystified of singer-songwriters and the folk and rock worlds that then surrounded and elevated him changed my own view of a moment I thought I had all figured out -- and of the songwriterly 1960s as a whole."
--Ann Powers, chief pop critic of the Los Angeles Times and author of Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America.

"In this tour de force, Elijah Wild complicates the stick-figure myth of generational succession at Newport by doing justice to what he rightly calls Bob Dylan’s “declaration of independence” without beating the life out of Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, who were defending their own. This is one of the very best accounts I’ve read of musicians fighting for their honor."
--Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and Occupy Nation

"I can't believe the quotes I am reading in reviews and interviews... Who did the research for your book? were YOU there?"
--Al Kooper, rock star, legendary producer, and keyboard player for Bob Dylan at Newport in 1965.



Press site for Dylan Goes Electric!