Here is the blurb for Linda Randall’s Finding Grace in the Concert Hall:Community & Meaning Among Springsteen Fans:
Bruce Springsteen’s music and performances have provided an emotional outlet for thousands of fans all over the world. Drawing from participant observation, the statements of Springsteen fans, and the life and music of Springsteen, Randall’s ethnographic treatment documents the ways in which fans are inspired to create a global cultural community. This community functions as a social network, offering emotional support, spirituality, and the motivation for doing good works.
Randall discovers that the sensitivities and values Springsteen instills in his fans are as alive and valid as those experienced by adherents of widely recognized spiritual traditions. Her in-depth examination of the thoughts and actions of these fans reveals that embracing nontraditional spiritual values can engender multifaceted feelings, including trust, hope, and respect for humankind. By acknowledging that a personal spiritual connection can develop outside a sectarian landscape, an appreciation of and tolerance for different belief systems can be cultivated and nourished.
And here is the publishers blurb for Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen:
Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen, edited by Roxanne Harde and Irwin Streight, draws together close readings of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics by scholars across a range of academic disciplines. The editors first make a compelling comparison between Bruce Springsteen and William Shakespeare, carefully building the argument that both men offer profound insight into the hungry human heart. Springsteen, they argue, uses many Shakespearean themes such as the ties of blood and friendship, commitment to country and community, the monsters of lust and jealousy, vanity and power, and the hopeful pursuit of real love. These themes lift his music beyond stories of characters casing the Promised Land of America to universal matters of the heart’s truth wherever it is found.
Then, the twelve chapters of Reading the Boss, written by established and emerging scholars, engage readers both critically and enthusiastically with central issues in Bruce Springsteen’s writing, as they read his explorations of gender, place, religion, philosophy, and other literary texts, notably the works of Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor. Driven by arguments grounded in a wide variety of theoretical and critical positions, these essays offer a comprehensive and accessible discussion of Springsteen’s oeuvre, from Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. to Working on a Dream that will appeal to both specialist readers and Springsteen fans alike.
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