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Rocking My Life Away: Writing about Music and Other Matters

Anthony DeCurtis
Anthony DeCurtis

Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he worked on staff for nine years as a writer and editor. He worked for a year (1995) as an on-air correspondent and editorial director at VH1, was the popular music critic for “Weekend All Things Considered” on National Public Radio from 1991 to 1995, and has written for a wide range of periodicals, including the New York Times, USA Today, and Vibe. He coedited The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll and The Rolling Stone Album Guide and edited Present Tense: Rock & Roll and Culture, also published by Duke University Press. DeCurtis received the 1988 Grammy Award in the “Best Album Notes” category and has three times received ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in writing about music. He is also a member of the nominating committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Rocking My Life Away represents nearly twenty years of writing by one of the premier critics of popular music in America today. In these pieces from Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and other publications, Anthony DeCurtis reveals his ongoing engagement with rock & roll as artistic forum, source of personal inspiration, and compelling site of cultural struggle. Including significant new work—liner notes commissioned for the Phil Spector box set and a spirited discussion with Peter Buck of R.E.M. about rock criticism, for example—DeCurtis also ventures with insight and power beyond the world of rock & roll. A joint profile of the political writers Neil Sheehan and Taylor Branch and provocative looks at the work of novelists Don DeLillo and T. Coraghessan Boyle round out this eclectic collection.

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