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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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  338 Ratings  ·  31 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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Maria
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It Was An Okay Book. He is now one of the celebs on my boycott list.
Carl Hesler
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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?
Kathy
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm late to the party but after seeing Springsteen live in Tulsa, Oklahoma a few years ago, I can say I've jumped on the band wagon! This was a very well-written and researched book by an author who has been a Springsteen fan since childhood. Bruce Springsteen's life, relationships, creative processes, and tribulations are chronicled in a way that left me flipping the pages for more.
jeremy
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, memoir-bio
the poetry and power of born to run lie in its unwillingness to compromise, in the refusal of its protagonists to accept passively the hand dealt to them by circumstance. they lie in the passion brought to common struggles, a passion that is mirrored by the ferocious roar of the music. mary, terry, wendy, and the magic rat are consistently searching within themselves, hoping to find the emotional resources — the love, the hope, the faith — to become their own heroes, to go on dreaming in the fac
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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
Lucynell
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Whitney
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, i-own
Little, obvious mistakes made me skeptical about any of the "facts" in the book. And I noticed most of the biographical information came from stories Bruce tells on stage (which are notoriously tall tales). I don't mind the author recounting those stories, but don't try to present them as facts about Bruce's childhood. As an example of the sloppiness, there was a part where he said Ford's Grapes of Wrath was released in 1932 (it was released in 1940). Not a huge deal, but a big enough mistake th ...more
James
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
Emmy
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story, biography
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.
Andrea
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Steve
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author normally writes on politics, so is presumably just writing as a fan of the Boss. It is a thorough study of the background to Springsteen's work. Unfortunately it is low on biographical detail compared to others but he has a feel for why exactly Springsteen is so special. At the of the day it is just another book about the Boss.
Ryan Cutler
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kay
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Matt
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Eileen
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Chicklit
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Crispin Kott
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was already a fan of Alterman's political writing before he took on the Boss. The combination of author and subject is seamless.
Jared
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best Bruce book I have read!
Mike Norton
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Neal
Aug 31, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of interesting stuff in this, but at times it felt like a big boring research paper.
Josh
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
didn't know much about bruce springsteen before reading this. a little reverential but interesting
Philip
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book about Bruce's life, how he was knocked about by the industry, and his eventual success.
Peter
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-reading
A great book on Springsteen but more importantly on being a Springsteen fan, why people feel so deeply attached to his music etc.
Reverend
Aug 04, 2008 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.
Miriam
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for all fans of the Boss!
Jose Manuel Vera
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
no es la mejor biografía ni de lejos. pero tiene el merito de ser de las primeras.
Eric
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruce has always been inspiring to me and this book added to my admiration of the man.
Greg
rated it really liked it
Jun 21, 2013
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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 MSNBC.com 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
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