"Working On a Dream" is powerful and engaging study of this songwriter and performer's art. Springsteen has consistently summoned his creative power and artistic vision to indict political developments and demand the cultivation of a more compassionate and progressive society. For almost four decades, Bruce Springsteen's music has directly inspired, influenced, and uplifted millions of devoted fans, who hold a special place in their hearts and minds for his work. Springsteen's rise to the top of American music coincided with the triumph of American conservatism, and the veneration of marketplace values above democratic principles and humanistic priorities. Springsteen has consistently summoned his creative power and artistic vision to indict these political developments and demand the cultivation of a more compassionate and progressive society. And yet his often harsh critique of the status quo and radical ideas for reform have either been ignored or misunderstood, as a result of his 'All American' image and his narrative storytelling style.
On nearly every major issue - poverty, racism, urban decay, war, and peace - Springsteen's music has offered a unique vision for moving forward with the agenda of creating the 'country we carry in our hearts' - as he called it in an op-ed for the "New York Times". Filled with provocative analysis of Springsteen's best known hits and his most obscure songs, comparisons to other important works of American culture - ranging from "The Sopranos" to "Edward Hopper" - and a wealth of information about the last fifty years of American politics, culture, and society, "Working On a Dream" is a powerful and engaging study of this songwriter and performer's art.
David Masciotra is a political columnist with the Herald News in Joliet, IL. On the web, he has written for PopMatters and Nerve, and lives in Dyer, Indiana.