Rutgers University Press on Bruce Springsteen

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Born in the U.S.A.

Bruce Springsteen in American Life, 3RD EDITION, REVISED AND EXPANDED

Jim Cullen

“Marshals impressive scholarship to assimilate the Boss into the main currents of American thought.”

A.O. Scott, The New York Times Book Review

“Jim Cullen writes with authority and empathy about the blue-collar roots that shaped Bruce Springsteen and gave rise to his music of rebellion. This is a provocative look at one of America’s cultural icons.”

— Eleanor Clift, Newsweek

Pioneering the field of Springsteen scholarship when it first appeared in 1997, Born in the U.S.A. remains one of the definitive studies of Springsteen’s work and its impact on American culture. Moving beyond journalistic and biographical approaches, Jim Cullen situates the artist in a wider historical canvas that stretches from the Puritans to Barack Obama, showing how he has absorbed, refracted, and revitalized American mythology, including the American Dream, the work ethic, and the long quest for racial justice. Exploring difficult questions about Springsteen’s politics, he finds a man committed to both democratic and republican principles, as well as a patriot dedicated to revealing the lapses of a country he loves.

This third edition of Born in the U.S.A. is fully revised and updated, incorporating discussion of Springsteen’s wide output in the 21st century. While addressing Springsteen’s responses to events like 9/11, it also considers the evolution of his attitudes towards religion, masculinity, and his relationship with his audience. Whether a serious Springsteen fan or simply an observer of American popular culture, Born in the U.S.A. will give you a new appreciation for The Boss.


March 2024

12 color & b&w images 262pp

9781978838062 £25.99 HB

Wiley Distribution - Ordering Trade Customers (Europe, Middle East, Africa): Trade Customers (Asia Pacific): Telephone (EMEA & APAC): +44 (0)1243 843291


Long Walk Home

Reflections on Bruce Springsteen

"The book nods to Springsteen’s international, intercultural popularity and success....The most thought-provoking essays in Long Walk Home are by writers who are not from the stereotypical Springsteen fan base."— Times Literary Supplement

Bruce Springsteen might be the quintessential American rock musician but his songs have resonated with fans from all walks of life and from all over the world. This unique collection features reflections from a diverse array of writers who explain what Springsteen means to them and describe how they have been moved, shaped, and challenged by his music.

Contributors to Long Walk Home include novelists like Richard Russo, rock critics like Greil Marcus and Gillian Gaar, and other noted Springsteen scholars and fans such as A. O. Scott, Peter Ames Carlin, and Paul Muldoon. They reveal how Springsteen’s albums served as the soundtrack to their lives while also exploring the meaning of his music and the lessons it offers its listeners. The stories in this collection range from the tale of how “Growin’ Up” helped a lonely Indian girl adjust to life in the American South to the saga of a group of young Australians who turned to Born to Run to cope with their country’s 1975 constitutional crisis. These essays examine the big questions at the heart of Springsteen’s music, demonstrating the ways his songs have resonated for millions of listeners for nearly five decades.


September 2019 7 b&w photos 270pp

9781978805262 £27.99 HB

Mary Climbs In The Journeys of Bruce Springsteen's Women Fans

Lorraine Mangione & Donna Luff

"[Bruce Springsteen is] seen as one of the quintessential writers of male experience, but as this new book explores, his resonance with female listeners is just as complex."— Herpreet Kaur Grewal, The Guardian

“Mary Climbs In offers an important entry in rock music scholarship. In addition to providing a contribution to the burgeoning arena of fan studies, Mangione and Luff afford readers a vital window into the female experience vis-à-vis rock ‘n’ roll.”— Kenneth Womack, author of Solid State: The Story of "Abbey Road" and the End of the Beatles

Bruce Springsteen has been cherished by his fans for decades, from his early days playing high school gymnasiums through globally successful albums and huge stadium shows to solo performances in intimate theaters. As his long and illustrious career has evolved, the legendary devotion of his fans has remained a constant. Springsteen fans have become worthy of study in their own right, with books, memoirs, and even a movie documenting their passion and perspectives. But his fans are not monolithic, and surprisingly little attention has been paid to why so many women from across the world adore The Boss.

Mary Climbs In illuminates this once overlooked but increasingly important and multi-faceted conversation about female audiences for Springsteen’s music. Drawing on unique surveys of fans themselves, the study offers insight into women’s experiences in their own voices.


September 2019 5 color illus. 252pp

9781978827189 £23.99 HB

Bridge and Tunnel Boys

Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and the Metropolitan Sound of the American Century

Jim Cullen

“Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel are epic figures who have been listened to, loved, and finally understood by Jim Cullen’s Bridge and Tunnel Boys. Long an astute observer of American popular culture, Cullen provides a radiant analysis of both artists’ music that is right on the money: perceptive and smart.”— Peter Ames

Carlin, author of Bruce

Born four months apart, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel both released their debut albums in the early 1970s, quickly becoming two of the most successful rock stars of their generation. While their critical receptions have been very different, surprising parallels emerge when we look at the arcs of their careers and the musical influences that have inspired them.

Bridge and Tunnel Boys compares the life and work of Long Islander Joel and Asbury Park, New Jersey, native Springsteen, considering how each man forged a distinctive sound that derived from his unique position on the periphery of the Big Apple. Locating their music within a longer tradition of the New York metropolitan sound, dating back to the early 1900s, cultural historian Jim Cullen explores how each man drew from the city’s diverse racial and ethnic influences.



October 2023 10 b&w photos 290pp

9781978835221 £27.99 HB

Shades of Springsteen Politics, Love, Sports, and Masculinity

John Massaro

"John Massaro writes about classic Springsteen themes––politics, love, sports, and masculinity––with insight, care, and thoughtfulness. Massaro finds meaning in the singer’s lyrics that should resonate with Springsteen fans, whether long-time admirers or those just learning about him."—June Skinner Sawyers, co-editor, Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen

One of the secrets to Bruce Springsteen’s enduring popularity over the past fifty years is the way fans feel a deep personal connection to his work. Yet even as the connection often stays grounded in details from his New Jersey upbringing, Springsteen’s music references a rich array of personalities from John Steinbeck to Amadou Diallo and beyond, inspiring fans to seek out and connect with a whole world’s worth of art, literature, and life stories.

In this unique blend of memoir and musical analysis, John Massaro reflects on his experiences as a lifelong fan of The Boss and one of the first professors to design a college course on Springsteen’s work. Focusing on five of the Jersey rocker’s main themes—love, masculinity, sports, politics, and the power of music—he shows how they are represented in Springsteen’s lyrics and shares stories from his own life that powerfully resonate with those lyrics. Meanwhile, paying tribute to Springsteen’s inclusive vision, he draws connections among figures as seemingly disparate as James Joyce, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Thomas Aquinas, Bobby Darin, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Shades of Springsteen offers a deeply personal take on the musical and cultural legacies of an American icon.


July2021 7 b&w photos 270pp

9781978816169 £27.99 HB

Wiley Distribution - Ordering

Trade Customers (Europe, Middle East, Africa):

Trade Customers (Asia Pacific):

Telephone (EMEA & APAC): +44 (0)1243 843291

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