Bob Dylan & America

A Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan, almost 68 now, is America’s grand old man of … what? Folk? Rock? Touring honky tonk? Everything?

He’s out with his 33rd studio album, called “Together Through Life.” It’s #1 in the UK. He’s touring — a hundred gigs a year. And just lately, he’s been talking — not to a music critic, but to a bonafide historian, Douglas Brinkley.

Brinkley followed Dylan through Europe on his “never-ending tour.” His interviews became the cover story of this month’s Rolling Stone. Dylan talked about Texas, Elvis, patriotism, morality. About Duluth and Neil Young and Marcus Aurelius and Caravaggio.

This hour, On Point: Douglas Brinkley on Bob Dylan in Rolling Stone.

It’s been a long time since Blowin’ in the Wind. Since Blood on the Tracks. What does this man, this artist, this American mean to you? How do you see Bob Dylan? Tell us — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Douglas Brinkley joins us from Austin, Texas.  He’s a professor of history at Rice University and author of Rolling Stone’s current cover story, “Bob Dylan’s America” (not available online). He’s the editor of “Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947-1954” and two volumes of letters of his late friend Hunter S. Thompson, “The Proud Highway” and “Fear and Loathing in America” (a third and final volume is on the way). The author of many works of history and current affairs, on subjects from Hurricane Katrina to Henry Ford, he’s also profiled Ken Kesey, Norman Mailer, and Kurt Vonnegut for Rolling Stone.

More links:

David Fricke reviews “Together Through Life” in Rolling Stone.

Dylan’s own vast website has news about his tour, as well as a complete discography and an archive of song lyrics.

And in a different vein, On Point’s Wen Stephenson was moved by a moment in Brinkley’s piece where Dylan pays tribute to Neil Young (you can watch videos of Young and Dylan covering the other’s songs).

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