Living In America

Living In America

Living In America

This biography of one of America's foremost soul singers traces Brown's career from the segregated movie houses and soul circuits of his youth, through his recording success, to the South Carolina prison where he was incarcerated.

From Publishers Weekly
Rose both celebrates and scrutinizes the art of the soul-music great. Drawing on interviews with Brown and former band members, as well as on her own wide-ranging knowledge of African-American culture, she portrays the singer as a ``Southern surrealist.'' Brown brought the ``deepest, blackest'' aspects of his experience--Southern Baptist religion, poverty and disenfranchisement--to a mass audience, both white and black. And in an unprecedented instance of reverse assimilation, says Rose, that audience elevated him to a stature previously unknown to a black--indeed, to any--pop performer. Rose argues convincingly for Brown's greatness with deft interpretations of songs such as ``Licking Stick'' which, she says, highlighted ``the way he could assimilate everyday language to spell out . . . his vision of the world.'' Occasionally, trendy generalizations about ``white European systems of thought'' and ``Afrocentric values'' muddle her analyses. But overall, this debut by Rose, a former editor of London's arts magazine, City Limits , is like...

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