Authors Daniel Wolff and Dave Marsh will be in conversation at the Book Beat Sunday, November 19th AT 3 PM to speak and sign copies of their books, including Wolff’s newest, Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913. This event is free and open to the public. If you have any questions, or to reserve books please call Book Beat at (248) 968-1190.
“In this elegantly written and insightful cultural history, Wolff examines this calamity and how it connects to the artistic evolution of Dylan and Guthrie. The book reads like a historical detective story, one where the sleuth is savvy enough to know some mysteries won’t be solved. A skillful and intrepid researcher, Wolff offers pocket histories of the two singers that echo each other.” —Review, The New York Times
About Grown-Up Anger:
A tour de force of storytelling years in the making: a dual biography of two of the greatest songwriters, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, that is also a murder mystery and a history of labor relations and socialism, big business and greed in twentieth-century America—woven together in one epic saga that holds meaning for all working Americans today.
When thirteen-year-old Daniel Wolff first heard Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” it ignited a life-long interest in understanding the rock poet’s anger. When he later discovered “Song to Woody,” Dylan’s tribute to his hero, Woody Guthrie, Wolff believed he’d uncovered one source of Dylan’s rage. Sifting through Guthrie’s recordings, Wolff found “1913 Massacre”—a song which told the story of a union Christmas party during a strike in Calumet, Michigan, in 1913 that ended in horrific tragedy.
Following the trail from Dylan to Guthrie to an event that claimed the lives of seventy-four men, women, and children a century ago, Wolff found himself tracing the history of an anger that has been passed down for decades. From America’s early industrialized days, an epic battle to determine the country’s direction has been waged, pitting bosses against workers and big business against the labor movement. In Guthrie’s eyes, the owners ultimately won; the 1913 Michigan tragedy was just one example of a larger lost history purposely distorted and buried in time.
In this magnificent cultural study, Wolff braids three disparate strands—Calumet, Guthrie, and Dylan—together to create a devastating revisionist history of twentieth-century America. Grown-Up Anger chronicles the struggles between the haves and have-nots, the impact changing labor relations had on industrial America, and the way two musicians used their fury to illuminate economic injustice and inspire change.
Praise for Grown-Up Anger:
“A masterful tale of music, social, and economic history…. Wolff’s elegantly intertwined historical drama is consistently revelatory. A dazzling, richly researched story impeccably told.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In this book—so soberly inflamed that the pages seem to turn of their own accord—the history of the American twentieth century is made of lodestars that don’t figure in conventional accounts… It is at precisely this moment that its story will be most fully heard.” — Greil Marcus
“In Grown-Up Anger, Daniel Wolff assembles an American triad to raise the ghosts of greed and misery. Through memory, music, and a clear insight into the emotional process of protest, Wolff reminds us of how it did, and how it does, ultimately feel.” — Patti Smith
“The path leading from Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan has been well traveled, but Daniel Wolff has gone off-road and forged bold new connections between the two cultural titans… The result is an imaginative tour de force that sheds new light on…the heartbreaking history that created them both.” — Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor, Rolling Stone
“No matter how much you think you know about Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, you’re wrong… This is the best sense anyone has ever made about the connection between them, and the best reappraisal either has had in a couple of decades.” — Dave Marsh
Watch Daniel Wolff at a presentation in Chicago for Grown-Up Anger on BOOKTV C-SPAN
Daniel Wolff has published numerous well-received nonfiction books, including a national best-seller that won the Ralph J. Gleason Award for the best music book in 1985. He was nominated for a Grammy in 2003 and was named Literary Artist of 2013 for Rockland County, New York. He has also collaborated on documentary films with Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs), pop songs, and performance pieces. His latest book is “Grown-up Anger: Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913.” His previous books include “The Names of Birds,” “The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back,” “How Lincoln Learned to Read,””4th of July/Asbury Park” and “You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke.””
Dave Marsh, rock critic, historian, anticensorship activist, talk show host, and “Louie Louie” expert, has written more than 20 books about rock and popular music, as well as editing that many more. He co-founded and for four years edited Creem, the legendary rock and roll magazine that helped launch heavy metal, glam and punk, and spent five years as an associate and contributing editor of Rolling Stone, where he was chief music critic, columnist and feature writer. He also acted the role of Aubery Beardsley in the cult film favorite, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. He serves as a trustee of the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, which funds sarcoma research and services for teenagers and young adults with cancer, named in honor of his late daughter. Marsh lives in Connecticut with his wife, Barbara Carr, and two cocker spaniels.