Gary L. McDowell, a professor in University of Richmond's Jepson School of Leadership Studies, writes about the connections between folk music and political thought.


What is missing here is a sufficiently vivid account of how the politics of the day eventually played out with the poetry. There are, for example, no wistful recollections of those great predecessors of the ’60s generation of folk singers, those giants upon whose shoulders the youngsters stood — the likes of Woody Guthrie, Seeger (who died Jan. 27), Huddie Ledbetter or Cisco Houston. But then neither are there any explorations of the connection between folk music and political thought that reached its most impressive heights in the early songs of Dylan. If that generation can be said to have had an anthem, certainly “The Times They Are A-changin’” is a pretty sure candidate.

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Professor Emeritus
American Political Thought
Constitutional History
Cultural Leadership
The Supreme Court