Born in Oklahoma, Woody Guthrie became a figure larger than life,
a folk singer who captured the spirit of his times in his enduring
songs: "This Land Is Your Land," "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You,"
"Going Down This Road Feeling Bad," and so many more.
Although he was always proud to be called an "Okie," his life was
on the road; he was a patriot and a political radical, but he was marked
by the FBI as a subversive. He lived in fear of the deadly fires that
stalked his family, and of the mental illness that snared his mother.
At the age of forty-two, Woody was cruelly silenced by Huntingdon's Disease.
About the Author
Ed Cray is the first biographer to be granted
access to the Woody Guthrie Archive, and he has interviewed over seventy
of the people who knew Woody best. On this basis he creates a haunting
portrait of an American original who profoundly influenced Pete Seeger,
Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and American popular music itself.
Ed Cray is the author of biographies of General George C. Marshall
and Chief Justice Earl Warren. He lives in Los Angeles and is professor
of journalism at the University of Southern California.