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ISBN 0-8126-9645-X
ISBN-13 978-0-8126-9645-5


288 pages

(Spring 08)

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Johnny Cash and Philosophy

The Burning Ring of Truth

Edited by John Huss and David Werther
Volume 31 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

Johnny Cash contained multitudes. The Man in Black has the most diverse following of any popular musician. He gave a voice to the poor and beaten down, and posed disturbing questions about violence, addiction, love, self-destruction, and meaning. In Johnny Cash and Philosophy, twenty-one philosophers explore the implications of the Johnny Cash myth and the Johnny Cash message. Their investigations uncover the distinctive relevance of Johnny Cash for moral responsibility, social justice, patriotism, romantic love, artistic creativity, class oppression, and individual identity.

"They gave Socrates hemlock but with Johnny Cash and Philosophy all you need is a beer. It's a fantastic book that captures the lively, thoughtful, and eternally human questions Johnny sang about so well. Any thoughtful fan of the Man in Black will instantly recognize the conversations in this wonderful volume and enjoy the chance to play along."

— Steven Gimbel, editor of The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded about Love and Haight (2007)

"If Socrates were alive today he would certainly have weighed in on the Johnny Cash phenomenon. In Johnny Cash and Philosophy we have the next best thing."

— Michael Streissguth, author of Johnny Cash: The Biography (2006) and Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: The Making of a Masterpiece (2005)

"Johnny Cash was the Man in Black, the philosopher-prince of American country music, and it’s about time we had a book that takes a serious look at his life and work and the many layers of its meaning. Around him, gutted terms like decency, honesty, and truth retain some of their intended meaning, and in a country that fears self-criticism above all else, he holds a mirror up to the white bland wide rotten hide."

— Jon Langford, punk musician with the Waco Brothers and contributor to This American Life

John Huss is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Akron. He performs with the John Huss Moderate Combo, co-wrote the cult classic film Use Your Head (1996), and contributed to Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think! (2006). David Werther is a faculty associate in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and teaches theology in the extension program of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He contributed to U2 and Philosophy: How to Decipher an Atomic Band (2006).

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