Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing)
A provocative cultural and literary examination and interpretation of the Obama Presidency, inspired by the Ralph Ellison novel, Invisible Man.
“David Masciotra’s unique take on Obama’s meaning in the public discourse is astute, nuanced and compelling. Check “Barack Obama Invisible Man” — the first chance you get.” – Salim Muwakkil, columnist with In These Times
“That there is anyone we have personally read besides David Masciotra who is better equipped to tackle this topic is unlikely…There’s no more contemporary story than this one, and there are many voices we’ve yet to read or hear from. But is this the place, and the book, to start with? Absolutely.” – Ben Tanzer, author of Be Cool and Lost in Space
“The cultural critic David Masciotra’s new book Barack Obama: Invisible Man is, in a broader sense, about how America banged its collective head against Trump Tower after last year’s election, no longer able to believe in the kind of change Obama had brought to the Oval Office. He touches on issues not often raised, such as race, privilege, and Obama’s demeanor. Masciotra has previously written about John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen, but needless to say this is his most controversial topic.” – Chicago Reader
Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky)
The first major book on one of America’s greatest songwriters and rock ‘n’ roll performers – John Mellencamp. Mellencamp: American Troubadour combines biography, musical journalism, and cultural criticism to present an engaging and entertaining look at Mellencamp, rock ‘n’ roll, and American culture.
Part biography, part cultural and sociological commentary—with a touch of hagiography/fan nonfiction thrown in—Mellencamp is almost a new genre. Masciotra’s observations, contributions, and asides are apt and diverse. Both Mellencamp’s work and the man himself are deeper than they appear, and this book really shores this up. — Susan Compo, author of Warren Oates: A Wild Life
David Masciotra writes with the precision and integrity and humanity of a great journalist, one whose word you can trust. He knows his subject, and his prose and reporting are always informed by the lights of compassion and decency. — James Lee Burke, author of Wayfaring Stranger
For almost 40 years, John Mellencamp has been forging a path through the thickets of the music industry, meditating on the connections between rock, soul, folk and funk. In the process, he’s established himself as a major artist whose work is sometimes obscured by the shadows of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. In this detailed, loving book, David Masciotra shines the light of his critical intelligence on the connections between Mellencamp’s life, his music, and the commitment to a deeper understanding of our shared humanity. — Craig Werner, author of Up Around the Bend: An Oral History of Creedence Clearwater Revival
“A godsend for Metallica fans…Masciotra outs himself as a major metal aficionado from page one and goes to great pains throughout the book to constantly place Metallica’s work in the context of their predecessors, contemporaries, and successors … Masciotra’s The Black Album is an informative book that heavy metal fans and readers interested in learning more about Metallica will certainly enjoy.” –Consequence of Sound
“Metallica engendered so much musical change that it deserves a certain level of intellectual analysis … always interesting summary of an album whose impact is, improbably, still being felt.” – Joel McIver, Record Collector Magazine
“Did Metallica really abandon their thrash roots or were these rock intentions in them all along? The latest entry of the 33 1/3 series written by David Masciotra answers these questions with finesse, thoughtfulness, and hard facts taken straight from the band’s mouth. With new interviews, revelations, and a look at the LP’s importance to the band and music in general, the book is tailor made for those who thought they knew everything about the metal giants.” –Chicago Music Examiner
Featuring interview with James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Jason Newsted, and Bob Rock, David Masciotra’s 33 1/3 book on Metallica’s self-titled record, more commonly known as The Black Album, goes inside the making of Metallica’s iconic record, and presents a fascinating look at the importance and philosophical depth of Metallica and heavy metal.
Working On a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen (Continuum Books, 2010)
“Insightful, brilliant at times.” – In These Times
“Musical journalism definitely well-worth reading.” – The Morning Star (UK)
“This book gives you the hope that music can challenge people and help change their situations.” – Family First (UK)