Bob Dylan is like an arrow that has never returned to an area it has once traversed. As much as his fans have wanted him to revisit the glory days of the 1960s, Dylan has moved on. Yet, it would be difficult to argue that the 1960s were anything but Dylan’s decade. The permanent mark he has left on American music comes from his prolific and highly original output during this decade. In Chimes of Freedom Mike Marqusee makes strong connections between Dylan’s songs and the events of the period to which they are tied. For those of us who remember the 1960s with a rush of adrenalin, the feature that sets the decade apart was the belief that conventional society needed to change in the name of egalite, of modernity; coupled to this was the somewhat naïve fixation that it could, indeed would change, to accommodate the vision of people who were in their twenties at the time. Bob Dylan spearheaded this movement with his songs of protest.
January 2006, volume 30, No 1