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Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence Book Now Available
Over the last four years, Robert Freedman, who is the webmaster of the fantastic Rush fan site Rush Vault, has been writing a book about the band. As Robert states, his goal was to develop a book that focused on "...an overarching narrative that put everything the band has done under a single, unifying theme. It was my intention to do that in my book by showing how all of the band’s music can be understood as an expression of classical liberalism rooted in Aristotelian individualism..."
The result is Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence from Algora Publishing which is now available. From the book's listing on Amazon:
Rush is often referred to as a libertarian rock band, but really what the band is channeling is an Aristotelian individualism, a philosophy that strongly resonates with today's 40-somethings. This helps explain the band's resurgence in popularity, culminating in its 2013 induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 'Rush: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Excellence' brings together the excitement of the band's progressive music, performed by three musicians whose mastery of their instruments has won them the admiration of their peers, and the surprising philosophical sophistication of their music's lyrics.Robert enlisted the help of RushIsABand's Ed Stenger to pen the foreword and he also utilizes some concert photos from your's truly in the book.
The book is a systematic look at the Aristotelian philosophy embedded in the band's lyrics over its 40-year recording career.
Although the topic of the book is academic, the writing is sharp, down-to-earth, and leavened with a dry wit. Anyone interested in the band's music, popular culture, and philosophical ideas simply explained will enjoy this entertaining and thought-provoking work.
The book can be purchased at Amazon or directly through the publisher.
Congratulations to Robert for developing this book!
Currently out of stock on Amazon!ReplyDelete
Looks like the book is back in stock on Amazon...Delete
Perhaps I have completely misinterpreted the goal of this book, but for me, this is going straight into my "pass" list.ReplyDelete
While it's all well and good to develop your own personal interpretations of art, even if you're intimate with the artist(s), those interpretations---those philosophical musings---will still be your own and no one else's. After all, the center of the Universe is each of us, and we all interpret what we see, hear, feel, etc. in our own individualistic ways. Reading this author's notions of what Rush and their songs are about doesn't really hold any particular attraction to me. If our opinions agree, then...what? And if they don't, the ensuing arguments are just as pointless because they are abstract to begin with.
It's one thing to agree that "that" was a really awesome guitar solo or bass riff or drum line, but when we delve into the realms of "because it means 'x' or 'y' or 'z' and those are based on beliefs of 1, 2 and 3" it's still just an assumption.
Yes, we can agree that Rush is a (mostly) very philosophical band.
Very well said. While I can understand some people wanting to delve into the complexity of Neil's lyrics, interpretations differ from one person to the next especially when dealing with philosophical outlooks. However, my curious mind is always willing to listen to those different points of view and compare them to my own! While I'm sure that I won't take everything that Mr. Freedman states to heart, I am curious as to what he has to say after spending so much time and effort tirelessly researching such a worthy subject!Delete
I appreciate the comments on the Rush "Pursuit of Excellence" book. I agree each of us has our own interpretation of the lyrics and it's presumptuous for anyone to hold his or her interpretation out to be the right one. From my perspective, and I think the anonymous comment above captures this pretty well, the value of an argument isn't in how close to the truth it is; it's in the degree to which it stimulates ideas or makes someone look at something in a different way. In other words, the journey is the thing. As Neil says in "Prime Mover," the point of the journey isn't to arrive; it's just to do it. Speaking for myself, I like reading arguments on all sorts of topics--art, music, public policy, foreign affairs, science, philosophy--and I don't much care whether I end up in the same place as the writer or not. If I find the argument stimulating or if it makes me see something I hadn't seen before, then I consider my time well spent. It's in that spirit that I wrote the book and I hope that's the spirit in which it's judged. Thanks for the comments!---Rob FreedmanDelete
Mr. Freedman, thanks for taking the time to comment here.ReplyDelete
The book sounds great. I love just the fact that people CAN be philosophical and be able to listen to others viewpoints. Just as my favorite Rush album or lyrics would differ from someone else, it's great to have a voice and opinion but also to listen, the latter sometimes being the more important aspect in our lives.ReplyDelete
- Pete B