Bob Dylan in the Attic
The Artist as Historian
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Bob Dylan is an iconic American artist, whose music and performances have long reflected different musical genres and time periods. His songs tell tales of the Civil War, harken back to 1930s labor struggles, and address racial violence at the height of the civil rights movement, helping listeners to think about history, and history making, in new ways. While Dylan was warned by his early mentor, Dave Van Ronk, that, “You're just going to be a history book writer if you do those things. An anachronism," the musician has continued to traffic in history and engage with a range of source material—ancient and modern—over the course of his career.
In this beautifully crafted book, Freddy Cristóbal Domínguez makes a provocative case for Dylan as a historian, offering a deep consideration of the musician's historical influences and practices. Drawing on interviews, speeches, and the close analysis of lyrics and live performances, Bob Dylan in the Attic is the first book to consider Dylan's work from the point of view of historiography.
“Bob Dylan in the Attic is an easy, lively, informative, engrossing read. Domínguez explains historiographical ideas and presents complex issues with a light touch.”—Pamela Thurschwell, author of Literature, Technology, and Magical Thinking, 1880–1920
"Domínguez makes his provocative argument with intellectual depth and writerly flair. This punchy and smart book will help many readers think about Bob Dylan—and popular music generally—in a more dynamic way."—Jeffrey Melnick, author of Charles Manson’s Creepy Crawl: The Many Lives of America’s Most Infamous Family