This book review is political in nature. You have the option to keep reading or not.
I just finished reading Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and I wanted to immediately pick it up and read it again. I finished the day after the 2016 election.
What disturbs me most about the election is not one side won or lost, it’s that MY America seems to have been voted down. MY America is about giving others a chance; making your own way the best way you can; giving to others; showing respect to all people; being nice; the freedom to be who you are, look the way you look, be equals, seek the medical care you need, be any color or gender, pursue your happiness and your freedom of religion. The freedom to pursue your artistic passions with freedom of speech. The freedom to live your life without being scared to go places without fear of being beaten, shot or blown up. You can be rich or poor, girl or boy, young or old, republican or democrat, green or magenta and be a good person and not harm others. MY America is not about divisions, that’s why we we’re “a melting pot.”
Parts of MY America are also reflected in the great works of literature, such as The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird, to name just a very few. Now, I am also a realist and know that one man is only one man, no matter who he is, and that things more than likely will turn out just fine if we keep what matters in the forefront.
“Born to Run” had this bit of America to which I am clinging. It is NOT a political book. But it has all the elements of what makes MY America great.
A young, rag-tag guy with a boisterous, dysfunctional family life finds a spark of inspiration in Elvis and The Beatles. He works, and he works hard. He struggles to find the money, the means and the talent in himself to do the thing he so very much wants to do. And he does it well. He meets up with other rag-tag, like-minded individuals and makes up his own team of people he can trust. He finds his voice, he finds success, he finds he didn’t have all the answers but learns along the way.
The best three parts of this book for me is the honesty Springsteen gives his depression and his family’s history of mental illness. The other part is when he finds his brother Clarence Clemons, and then learns of all the struggles Clemons goes through. You can feel how his eyes became open to racism through his words.
I don’t mean to sum up this book in one or two paragraphs, as the language in which Springsteen expresses his youth and even his adulthood are beyond compare. It is so worth your time to read. Even if there are no political issues happening in the backdrop, this is a great read about one of our most exciting musicians and expressive lyricists who can capture magic in a bottle with his words, as well as make you want to get out of your seat. And he’s still just a down to earth guy from Jersey, doing what we are all trying to do.
There has always been unrest. Use your talents for good. Oh, and Bruce, “we’re going to need you again.”