Up Close: Johnny Cash

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Up Close: Johnny Cash

Postby lo&m on Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:50 pm

Up Close: Johnny Cash
A twentieth-century life by Anne E. Neimark
ISBN: 978-0-670-06215-7
This biography is part of a series of biographies of famous American figures that are aimed at a younger audience, although it is by no means a children's book. It covers all of Johnny Cash's life in an open, engaging style, from his birth on a sharecroppers farm right through to the end of his life. It doesn't get bogged down in a wealth of detail, neither does it skip through or trivialise parts of Cash's life or career.

More importantly, given that it's aimed at younger readers, the author does not talk down to them or use childish language. Anyone of any age can enjoy this book, this reviewer did. Nor does she moralise about her subject. Johnny and June's courtship while still being married to others is acknowledged but not dwelt on. Similarly, Cash's years of drug abuse and it's effect upon him are described in a matter-of-fact manner without trying to preach an anti-drug message.

His childhood including the tragic accidental death of his brother, his time in the airforce, the beginning of his career in Memphis and Sun records, his climb to fame and it's attendant problems, his Columbia and American recording years and his inevitable declining health and death are all well covered. Serious fans of Johnny Cash will get little new insight into the man here but those who are new to country music or only got to know of Cash since the Walk The Line film should find this is a handy introduction to one of the twentieth centuries major talents.
Country is a state of mind, not a state of America.
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