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It Ain't No Sin To Be Glad You're Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen
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It Ain't No Sin To Be Glad You're Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  279 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Political journalist Eric Alterman examines the unique phenomenon that is The Boss and how he has come to reflect and interpret a turbulent quarter century of American history.
Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published (first published 1999)
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Willem van den Oever
Amongst his other books, Eric Alterman’s “It Ain’t No Sin to be Glad You’re Alive: the Promise of Bruce Springsteen” stands as the odd one out. While all other books in his bibliography cover political, historical and social topics, Alterman’s biography on American rocker Bruce Springsteen is clearly a labour of love. The author is a Boss-afficionado and the subject matter is hardly handled objectively. But why should he be? People who would want to read this book, are no doubt Springsteen-fans ...more
Personally, and for what its worth, short of an 'Introduction,' I'd never give full marks to any book on Bruce Springsteen that doesn't manage at least 500 pages. I'm saying this as a pop music fan. The idea that that artist, the E Street Band, his work and all can fit in a medium size book is absurd. Not that I've read a lot of books on Bruce but I'm taking my chances.
The Promise is very good, though. Easy to read, part criticism, part biography, it tracks the man's career from the teenage yea
Carl Hesler
I had a Bruce Springsteen phase for a few weeks, and so I read this book. It was good. I got excited about Bruce Springsteen, and then I saw the emptiness of living for Bruce Springsteen's music. I received lots of valuable info from the author and even from Bruce himself. What more could I ask for in a biography like this?
Jose Manuel Vera
no es la mejor biografía ni de lejos. pero tiene el merito de ser de las primeras.
An excellent testimonial for Bruce Springsteen. This book is an informative account of the times that informed the sublime music of the E-Street poet, and reveals why the artist is as important now as he ever was; it is also a surprisingly touching and honest account of Springsteen's influence on the life of the author. This is not a boring rock biography by any means as it is as much an account of its author's life as it has been informed by the music of the great man. An important document tha ...more
Bruce Springsteen is one of my guilty pleasures; his music brings back memories of road trips from Washington state to Utah and back during my teenage years. A road trip,even today, is not complete without his music on.
This book was written by a true afficionado of Springsteen's. I've never read about his life or delved into the deeper meanings of his lyrics (I was usually passed out in the back seat of the car or am just jamming out to keep myself awake) so it was new information for me.
Sep 05, 2008 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music lovers of any kind
You don't need to be a Springsteen fan to enjoy this, although being the fan I am I found it to be an awesome tale of the Boss's life and provided some extra insight into both the life and music of the man this legend really is.

If you're a music fan of any type or genre you are bound to enjoy this book as it delves into the life and creation of the man we all know as Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen.
Sherri Somerville
I came across this book unexpectedly and ended up loving it. Told from a fan's perspective, I found it a little different than most of the books I'd read about Bruce Springsteen. I found it at a time when I'd almost forgotten the excitement I felt whenever a new Springsteen album came out. It renewed the thrill for me and I'm grateful
This is a great book and I am a BIG fan. To me Bruce is poetry turned into Rock and Roll. The lyrics can tug at your heart, make you want to party, appreciate family, friends, life. And understand how different, yet the same we all are.

I recommend reading while back ground music is the live album collection. The Boss. Yes, he is.
Ryan Cutler
This is book is a great beginning portrait of this American singer-songwriter, arguably the best rock and roll song writer. Eric Alterman follows Springsteen's life from his pre-Greetings days up until the reformation of the E Street Band. The book goes super fast, especially if you're interested in the artist.
A valuable book for anyone wanting insight into what possibly makes Bruce Springsteen whatever great thing it is that he is and what possibly makes his music transcendent. The second half of the title is a perfect summation of the book: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen.
I was raised on Springsteen, so I've always loved him and his music. His music means so much. I don't have the right words to convey what he means to me, but Eric Alterman does. This book is fantastic. And I need to see him again in concert.
Laura Martinelli
As a Springsteen biography, Alterman delivers but doesn’t really get into the personal details. There were also parts that really seemed contradictory, and fell flat as I read it. An interesting read, but not one I’d return to.
Mike Norton
If you are a fan of Bruce, you will love this book. If you are interested in the socio-cultural history of popular music you will love this book. Others need not apply.
Crispin Kott
I was already a fan of Alterman's political writing before he took on the Boss. The combination of author and subject is seamless.
A great book on Springsteen but more importantly on being a Springsteen fan, why people feel so deeply attached to his music etc.
Jul 17, 2008 Chicklit rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Springsteen fans
I really enjoyed this book. Half Springesteen biography and half analysis, it's a very insightful look at the Boss's life and work.
Dec 28, 2010 Reverend marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music-shizz
Its been too long since i started this. I liked what I read but it has gone to the ether. I'll restart it again, someday.
Good book about Bruce's life, how he was knocked about by the industry, and his eventual success.
Lots of interesting stuff in this, but at times it felt like a big boring research paper.
Favorite Bruce book! It sums up perfectly how I feel about Bruce and his art.
Great book for all fans of the Boss!
Best Bruce book I have read!
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Eric Alterman is an American English teacher, historian, journalist, author, media critic, blogger and educator. His political weblog named Altercation was hosted by from 2002 until 2006, by Media Matters for America until December 2008, and now is hosted by The Nation.
Alterman began his journalism career in 1983, freelancing originally for The Nation, The Washington Monthly, The New Rep
More about Eric Alterman...
What Liberal Media?: The Truth about Bias and the News Why We're Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama

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