Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What is David Stowe reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: David W. Stowe, author of No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism.

One book tagged in his entry:
Radicals in the Their Own Time... by my good friend Michael Lawrence, who teaches at the MSU law school. The book is a wide-ranging historical meditation on American liberty in the form of a group biography of five radicals: Roger Williams, Tom Paine, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Vine Deloria. What connects these five figures, according to Lawrence, is their courageous dedication to the free expression of unpopular ideas in the face of religious orthodoxy and state power. Quoting liberally from their writings, Lawrence succeeds in creating good biographical narratives, in some cases reconstructing scenes and dialogues on the basis of limited evidence. As someone whose professional writing centers on articles for law journals and op-ed pages, Mike has done a remarkable job on the larger canvass of a book-length history of ideas. Reading the book makes me feel a bit like a proud godfather. A few short years ago we began...[read on]
Among the early praise for No Sympathy for the Devil:
"The exploration of musical/social/political connections is perhaps the greatest strength of this well-written, carefully researched book. Stowe explains the early development of Christian pop and rock music more thoroughly than perhaps any other book available."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"Stowe offers a serious and impressive examination.... Anyone even remotely interested in American or religious studies will be captivated by this study."
--Publishers Weekly

"David Stowe's No Sympathy for the Devil is a much-needed and highly engaging study of Christian rock. Expertly researched and elegantly written, Stowe not only adds texture to this misunderstood music, he also helps us understand the cultural and political resonance this music has had with American evangelicals, as well as its place in the broader world of post-1960s religious pop. An important achievement by one of our leading authorities on American religion and music."
--Jason C. Bivins, author of Religion of Fear: The Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism

"David Stowe's fascinating book reveals how Christian rock music changed and shaped contemporary evangelicalism. No Sympathy for the Devil is an engaging read that provides a compelling look at the 'secret history' of religion and pop music."
--Randall Balmer, author of The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond
Learn more about No Sympathy for the Devil at the the University of North Carolina Press website, and visit the official No Sympathy for the Devil Facebook page.

David W. Stowe is professor of English and religious studies at Michigan State University.

The Page 99 Test: No Sympathy for the Devil.

Writers Read: David W. Stowe.

--Marshal Zeringue