Singing for Peace: Antiwar Songs in American History, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Singing for Peace

Antiwar Songs in American History, 1st Edition

By Ronald D Cohen, Will Kaufman


192 pages

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pub: 2015-07-30
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Wars have dominated the history of the United States since its founding, but there has also been a long history of antiwar activity. Peace songs have emerged out of every military conflict involving the United States. "Singing for Peace" vividly portrays this rich antiwar history, beginning in the eighteenth century and continuing into the twenty-first.Most of the twentieth-century output was dominated by folk groups and acoustic singer-songwriters. The Vietnam War saw the increased dovetailing of folk and rock music, so that rock and folk-rock took on an ever-larger share of protest activity, then punk, metal, hip-hop, and rap. The authors draw upon a wide range of primary and secondary sources, while quoting many popular and lesser-known song lyrics, and including a range of photos and illustrations. These songs have long served to both shape and reveal the feelings of citizens opposed to America s wars."


“A good history of the importance of war in American Song from prerevolution up to today. Flies in the face of the contemporary folklore that protest music has disappeared from the American landscape. The book shows that bubbling under today’s mainstream is a wealth of topical songs, speaking to all aspects of war and peace.”

—Country Joe McDonald

“Ron Cohen and Will Kaufman capture the dazzling cultural outpouring at the heart of every progressive social movement. They chronicle the soundtrack that rings through the American story right from the start: the spirit of democracy, the inspirations of liberty, and the harmonies of peace. Singing for Peace overflows with emotional richness and humanity, illuminates the dark spaces of war and injustice, and lights a path toward peace and freedom. Pick up Singing for Peace and connect with the sweet rhythm of resistance.”

—Bill Ayers, author of Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General