Cover image for Woody Guthrie : a life
Woody Guthrie : a life
Klein, Joe, 1946-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1999.

Physical Description:
xiv, 496 pages, 16 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML429.G95 K6C Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A biography of the influential American folk singer, Woody Guthrie, who lived a life on the edge of tragedy but inspired a generation of songwriters, including Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Few artists have captured the American experience of their time as wholly as folk legend Woody Guthrie. Singer, songwriter, and political activist, Guthrie drew a lifetime of inspiration from his roots on the Oklahoma frontier in the years before the Great Depression. His music--scathingly funny songs and poignant folk ballads--made heard the unsung life of field hands, migrant workers, and union organizers, and showed it worthy of tribute. Though his career was tragically cut short by the onset of a degenerative disease that ravaged his mind and body, the legacy of his life and music had already made him an American cultural icon, and has resounded with every generation of musician and music lover since.

In this definitive biography, Joe Klein, nationally renowned journalist and author of the bestselling novel Primary Colors, creates an unforgettable portrait of a man as gifted, restless, and complicated as the American landscape he came from.

Praise for Woody Guthrie: A Life

"One of the finest treatments of an American 20th-century performer ever written . . . Not merely a biography . . . it is a social history . . . written knowledgeably, in a brilliant style." -- San Francisco Examiner

"A really great book." --Bruce Springsteen

Author Notes

Joe Klein, a journalist for nearly three decades, is currently Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker". In addition to "Primary Colors", his previous books include "Payback: Five Marines After Vietnam" & "Woody Guthrie: A Life".

(Bowker Author Biography) Joe Klein, the formerly "anonymous" author of Primary Colors, has also authored Payback: Five Marines After Vietnam (1984) and Woody Guthrie: A Life (1980). A long time editor and political columnist, Klein has reported extensively on America's disillusionment with the political system and related issues for New York Magazine, for Newsweek in the column Public Lives, and for The New Yorker in the column Letter From Washington. In addition, Klein was a contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine, serving as its Washington bureau chief from 1975 to 1977.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Chapter 1 Life's Other Sidep. 1
Chapter 2 Wheat Fields Waving, Dust Clouds Rollingp. 40
Chapter 3 Here Come Woody and Lefty Loup. 76
Chapter 4 I Ain't a Communist Necessarily, But I Been in the Red All My Lifep. 112
Chapter 5 American Spiritp. 142
Chapter 6 Talking Unionp. 188
Chapter 7 Like a Wild Wolf in the Canyons of New Yorkp. 230
Chapter 8 Poems and Explosionsp. 274
Chapter 9 Stackabonesp. 319
Chapter 10 What Am I Gonna Do When My Shock Time Comes?p. 357
Chapter 11 Jesus My Doctorp. 400
Chapter 12 Dust Can't Kill Mep. 440
Afterwordp. 468
Notesp. 473
Acknowledgmentsp. 481
Indexp. 483