Magazine December 31, 2016, Issue

Working Man’s Bard

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform during their ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ tour, Philadelphia, 1984. (Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Born to Run, by Bruce Springsteen (Simon & Schuster, 528 pp., $32.50)

Springsteen, The Boss. Bruuuuuce. A lot of hyperbolic ink has been spilled over this man through the years, so I’m going to walk it back a little and say that, at base level, Bruce Springsteen is a songwriter whose grasp of musical and lyrical economy is unusual in the often excessive world of rock ’n’ roll. His catalogue boasts a number of tight, enduring records: Born to Run, The River, Nebraska, Born in the U.S.A., and The Rising, among others.

There is, of course, another side to Springsteen — what we might call the “Prove It All Night” side: the Springsteen

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


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