Joshua Clover on 1989 Music and Politics

January 16, 2011

1989 has been called “the end of history.” It witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of revolution in Eastern Europe and the Tiannamen Square protest in China. Poet and music critic Joshua Clover wrote “1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This To Sing About.” Steve Paulson asked him to explain the subtitle.



Hi TTBOOK folks,

I really love your show! Thanks for all the great, thought-provoking discussions.

I did find the Singing the Revolution show somewhat disappointing, however. I saw the title and immediately thought, "Great, they're going to talk about the famous Singing Revolutions in the Baltic countries that helped those people's end Soviet rule. I'd love to learn more about those non-violent protests!"

In case you are not aware of the singing revolutions, here are a few resources:
- A film about the events in Estonia:

I understand that We Shall Overcome is a great song that has had a huge impact and that Bob Dylan is a massive figure in American experience. I admit that, as a folklorist, I seem to have heard more than my share of stories about WSO and Bob Dylan and am ready for new material. But I would still argue that the general American public could stand to hear more about other parts of the world, too.

Thanks for everything,

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