Books

I Am Somebody Why Jesse Jackson Matters David Masciotra

I Am Somebody: Why Jesse Jackson Matters (I.B. Tauris)

With a foreword by Michael Eric Dyson

“Jesse Jackson is one of the most influential American leaders of the last half century, and historically one of the giants of the African American freedom struggle. In his paean to Jackson, I Am Somebody: Why Jesse Jackson Matters, David Masciotra, based on research, and extensive first-hand observations and multiple interviews with Jackson, presents a sprightly analysis of why Jackson matters in the African American freedom movement, human rights and the quest for a more just, equalitarian and inclusive American democracy. Although a sympathetic portrayal, Masciotra carefully balances admiration and detachment in his assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the man and his work. The book is an important addition to the literature on Post-Civil Era American politics.” –  Robert C. Smith, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University, USA

I Am Somebody: Why Jesse Jackson Matters is a book for anyone interested in presidential politics, Black American political history, and the link between the civil rights movement and modern political uprisings. Jesse Jackson has served as a consistent voice for economic freedom and racial equality, and David Masciotra intricately lays out the contributions of Jackson as we continue to fight for democracy, religious and economic freedom, racial equity, and the promise of the American dream. His analysis introduces us to a multifaceted and holistic Jackson, not a hagiographic retelling of Jackson’s life and accomplishments. Jackson’s concern was for the liberation and emancipation of people, at home and abroad, Black and non-Black, and it is this lifelong work that has solidified Jackson and his work into the moral fabric of this country. There is no Barack Obama, Black Lives Matter, or modern day poor people’s movement without Jesse Jackson. I Am Somebody: Why Jesse Jackson Matters is a must read for anyone interested in race, protest politics, electoral politics, the Civil Rights Movement, leadership, and the power of one man to continue a civil rights legacy across generations to change the course of electoral history in America.” –  Christina M. Greer, PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, New York, USA. Author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream”

“My relationship with Jesse Jackson began in high school when he played quarterback at Sterling High School in Greenville, SC and I played quarterback at Lincoln High School in Sumter, SC. He attended A & T State University where he played quarterback and I quarterbacked at Clark Atlanta University. We both pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and served on its national board of directors. We were born to teenage mothers and both of them became beauticians and good friends. I know Jesse Jackson. I spent two years, 1980-82, as his executive vice president of Operation PUSH and served as the chief negotiator for signing covenants with major corporations. I know Jesse Jackson. Many books and articles have been written about “the Country Preacher”, however, in this book, David Masciotra, has written the most comprehensive and balanced work on the life of this civil rights icon. It should be in every home, library and public place. Jesse Jackson is a citizen of the world.” –  James L. Felder, Author and Former Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, USA

Barack Obama_Invisible Man_David Masciotra_CoverBarack 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 out 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_final.inddMellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky)

Available from the University Press of Kentucky and Amazon

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

Metallica CoverMetallica by Metallica (September 2015, Bloomsbury Publishers)

“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.

DreamWorking 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)

Available at Amazon or from Continuum Books

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