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Printed at: 25/10/2014  –  19:12:35


Bob Marley: Herald of a Postcolonial World?

By: Jason Toynbee


Description

Is Bob Marley the only third world superstar? How did he achieve this unique status? In this captivating new study of one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Jason Toynbee sheds new light on issues such as Marley’s contribution as a musician and public intellectual, how he was granted access to the global media system, and what his music means in cultural and political terms.

Tracing Marley’s life and work from Jamaica to the world stage, Toynbee suggests that we need to understand Marley first and foremost as a ‘social author’. Trained in the co-operative yet also highly competitive musical laboratory of downtown Kingston, Marley went on to translate reggae into a successful international style. His crowning achievement was to mix postcolonial anger and hope with Jamaican textures and beats to produce the first world music.

However the period since his death has been marked by brutal and intensifying inequality in the capitalist world system. There is an urgent need, then, to reconsider the nature of his legacy. Toynbee does this in the concluding chapters, weighing Marley’s impact as advocate of human emancipation against his marginalisation as a ‘Natural Mystic’ and pretext for disengagement from radical politics.

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Hardcover
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745630885
ISBN10
074563088X
Publication Dates ROW:
Sep 2007
Publication Dates US:
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Sep 2007


Format
219 x 143 mm
8.60 x 5.62 in
Pages
208 pages
Paperback
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745630892
ISBN10
0745630898
Publication Dates ROW:
Sep 2007
Publication Dates US:
Nov 2007
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Sep 2007



Format
211 x 141 mm
8.30 x 5.52 in
Pages
208 pages
E-book
Status
Available
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780745657370
ISBN10
0745657370
Publication Dates ROW:
May 2013
Publication Dates US:
May 2013
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
May 2013


Format
229 x 152 mm
9.02 x 5.98 in
Pages
272 pages

* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
Please note: Sales representation and distribution for Polity titles is provided by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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Reviews

"[Bob Marley: Herald of a Postcolonial World?] is the most intellectually nuanced and comprehensive treatement of Bob Marley available ... The book exemplifies nicely the analytical power of a rigorous and carefully applied social theoretical framework ... this is an excellent book, and I'm delighted that someone has finally given Bob Marley the elegant and sustained critical analytical treatment that he deserves. It is the richest , most serious, and most interesting scholarly analysis of Marley available."
Popular Music

"The number of issues that Jason covers is quite remarkable and the bibliography highlights the excellent research; I doubt there will be many other books written on Bob Marley which cover 19th century slave revolts, mento and nyabinghi musical styles and unemployment and police harassment in Birmingham ... I fully recommend the book to anyone who has spent any length of time listening to Bob Marley, or to anyone who has an interest in the origins and spread of reggae music."
The Socialist

"Jason Toynbee not only brings out the complexity of his music in this fascinating book, but takes the reader to some interesting details of the history of the rise of one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century."
Spectrum

"This book is a serious scholarly treatment of the life and music of Bob Marley which is well worth reading. It does not only trace Bob Marley's life and music through the turbulent post-war years but attempts to answer a crucial question: why has this artiste and this music, from a small Carribean island, had such a broad global impact? ... Toynbee insists that the global appear of this music has its own independent substance. The same may be said for this thoughtful and knowledgeable book. Courses in cultural studies and musicology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels should take careful note."
Global Media and Communication

"A smart and engaging example of what a popular music biography should look like."
Timothy Taylor, University of California, Los Angeles

"As if infected by the sheer surprise and complexity of his music, this book makes sense of the contradictions of Bob Marley's life and work with wonderful analytic verve and an engaging display of the dogged scholarly need to understand. A tour-de-force of applied cultural theory and in itself confirmation of Bob Marley's continuing inspirational power!"
Simon Frith, Edinburgh University

 

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction 1

1 How Do You Solve a Problem Like Bob Marley? 7

2 Nesta Marley and Colonial Jamaica 37

3 Bob Marley at the Reggae Conjuncture 72

4 Standing Up and Finally Being Counted 114

5 Up On the Rock, Chanting Down Babylon 153

6 After Bob 196

Discography and Filmography 232

Bibliography 236

Index 252

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Author Information

Jason Toynbee is Lecturer in Media Studies in the Department of Sociology at the Open University.

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