Oscar Rickett

Songs of the Earth

Woody Guthrie and the Dust Bowl Ballads


Jonathan Cape 272pp £20 order from our bookshop

‘Property is theft’, declared Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1840. ‘This land is your land/This land is my land’, wrote Woody Guthrie one hundred years later. Guthrie’s song, stripped of some of its more worryingly communist-sounding verses, has since become a surrogate national anthem in America, unironically celebrated by the same people who think Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ translates as ‘I was born in the greatest country on earth’. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Here's reviewing Rachel Kushner's novel about a woman caught in the injustice of the US prison system,… ,
    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,