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Reviews

About the Book

Hey, America! is the story of how black music came from the margins of American life in the early twentieth century through to the mainstream under Barack Obama’s presidency and then was mobilised as a force for radical opposition to Donald Trump’s presidency. Embedded in the story is the triumph of black music over the many forces that had held it back – racism, segregation, undercapitalised record labels, media discrimination and political anxiety.

Opening with President Obama’s tribute to Prince, the author takes us through the spat between Louis Armstrong and President Eisenhower, Eartha Kitt’s encounter with Lady Bird Johnson, the Vietnam War’s influence on soul, James Brown’s flirtation with Nixon, the impact of Hurricane Katrina, Ice-T’s ‘Cop Killer’ scandal, Public Enemy and the rise of hip-hop, the Washington Wives versus ‘porn rock’, Kanye West running for presidency and many, many others. The book concludes with the dramatic stand-off between Trump and the Black Lives Matter movement.


The Author

Stuart Cosgrove

Stuart Cosgrove originally from Perth, was media editor with the NME and a feature writer for a range of newspapers and magazines. In 2005 he was named Broadcaster of the Year in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards and in 2012 he won numerous awards including a BAFTA and Royal Television Society award for Channel 4’s coverage of the London Paralympics 2012. The second book in his soul trilogy, Memphis 68, won the Penderyn Music Prize in 2018.

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