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Billy Bragg, Author

If you like Billy Bragg's politics and worldview but aren't fond of his, shall we say, informal vocal delivery, this should be worth checking out:

The Progressive Patriot: A Search For Belonging

Part autobiography, part polemic, in this his first book, Billy delves into his own family history and childhood in Barking, and the influences of such luminaries as George Orwell, Rudyard Kipling, Simon & Garfunkel, Dylan, and The Clash, to reflect on how this shaped his own sense of Englishness. He also considers the historical impact of the Magna Carta, the People's Charter, the Civil War, the Second World War, and the Miners Strike on the formation of the national consciousness.

In a world in which British citizens can lay bombs to kill their countrymen, where religious fundamentalism is on the increase, and where the BNP are somehow part of the democratic process, what does patriotism actually mean?

Or you could just drop $70 on his new nine-disc boxed set (covering just the latter half of his career!) from Yep Roc Records. Your call.

October 12, 2006 in Books, Music | Permalink