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Rumours of Glory: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Cockburn

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“This is the story of the development of one of the most astute and compelling songwriters in the English language. Rumours of Glory is a highly personal account, by one whose quest for expression engages the most important social questions of our time.” (Jackson Browne)

Cockburn gives us a finely-grained account of the ground from which he harvested some of the finest songs of his generation. (Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift)

“Cockburn’s life story is the passage of a sonic rebel whose weapon is music. In this beautifully written account we see and hear what it means to open yourself to beauty and pain in every direction. This is a fitting soundtrack to an engaged life lived with purpose.” (Bill Ayers, activist, educator, and author of Fugitive Days and Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident)

“This unusually absorbing book will enthrall Cockburn fans and anyone interested in the life of a serious artist committed to his music and progressive causes.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Articulate, thoughtful, sweeping…. The virtues of Cockburn’s memoir are many. A great artist explains, more fully than he has in the 40-year chronicle of his lyrics, the tides and swirls of his fascinating life.” (Christian Century)

“While it has its share of rock ‘n’ roll stories (some of which are pretty cool), the book is much more about the author’s music, his faith, his political activism....he writes movingly about his religious faith, and the way it changed over the years.” (Booklist)

“If the history of mankind were a song, Bruce Cockburn might have written it….He is no longer holding back: ‘Rumours’ exposes the folds in his relationships with women, the divine, various causes, music -- and marvelously unpacks his songs like origami laid flat.” (San Jose Mercury News)

“Bruce Cockburn’s new memoir is beautifully and thoughtfully written; no surprise, considering that the Canadian musician is one of best lyricists on the planet…Cockburn’s songs stand the test of time. So will this memoir.” (Lincoln Journal Star)

“Cockburn’s Rumours of Glory is not your standard rock and roll memoir…. candid, unbreezy, opinionated…These are the accumulations of an intricate and self-aware man.” (Globe and Mail, Canada's National newspaper (Toronto))

“Beyond belief systems (or lack thereof), the Rumours of Glory book and box set offer a call to life, embracing the mysteries of existence and the search for love and beauty, wherever one finds it.” (Rolling Stone)


Following the success of I’m Your Man and Just Kids, legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn delivers his long-awaited memoir—a chronicle of faith, fear, and activism that is also a lively cultural and musical tour through the late twentieth century.

Award-winning songwriter and pioneering guitarist Bruce Cockburn’s life has been shaped by politics, protest, romance, and spiritual discovery. For more than five decades he has toured the globe, visiting far-flung places such as Guatemala, Mali, Mozambique, Afghanistan, and Nepal, performing and speaking out on diverse issues, from native rights and land mines to the environment and Third World debt. His journeys have been reflected in his music and evolving styles: folk, jazz, blues, rock, and worldbeat. Drawing from his experiences, he continues to create memorable songs about his ever-expanding universe of wonders.

As an artist with thirty-one albums, Cockburn has won numerous awards and the devotion of legions of fans across America and his native Canada, where he is a household name. Yet the man himself has remained a mystery. In his memoir, Cockburn invites us into his private world, sharing his Christian convictions, his personal relationships, and the social and political activism that has defined him and has both invigorated and incited his fans.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 20555 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 551 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0061969125
  • Verlag: HarperOne (18. November 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00FJ302UG
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #72.049 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  11 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A surprising disappointment for a Cockburn fanatic 2. Dezember 2014
Von Goatboy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Like others here I own a copy of every Bruce Cockburn album in at least one format, plus all the Colin Linden, Hugh Marsh, Jonatha Brooke etc. curiosities he appears on, even the "Kick at the Darkness" tribute. Unlike others here, though, I was disappointed in "Rumours of Glory," because I think there was not much (or enough) memoir in it. It's as if Bruce was hiding behind the full-lyric song interludes and the journalistically crafted sections that excerpt big chunks of UN reports or Washington Post articles about whatever geopolitical topic, like the Sanctuary Movement (which I was involved in, so I am not reacting here on political grounds.) I am grateful for the book, and read it in three days, but I don't feel like I learned enough about Bruce Cockburn--the artist who has influenced my life probably more than any other artist in any medium, including literature. I feel I've been given a gift every time I can figure out one of his songs on guitar or charango (yes, my father bought me one, so I could learn to play "Santiago Dawn;" BTW, there's not a lot of detail about musicianship in the book either.) By the way, is there any truth to the rumor that he broke up Ani Di Franco's marriage? He touches a bit on their relationship over discussion of "Birmingham Shadows" but is gallantly vague about their whole connection, whatever it was. There are some beautiful passages about "the Divine," his post-Christian way of describing God. I wonder what he thought about all the shout-outs he got in the Christian book "The Shack" (which I cannot recommend, even to Cockburn-heads on the Christian spectrum). It should be said this is not a negative review, and I totally encourage anybody to buy the book, I just wish Bruce had put more Bruce inside; I don't think "Rumours of Glory" totally works as memoir.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Ask 5 Bruce Cockburn fans to name their favorite of his records and you will likely get 5 ... 7. November 2014
Von Westcliffe Photography - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Ask 5 Bruce Cockburn fans to name their favorite of his records and you will likely get 5 different answers. One could argue that in Rumours of Glory Bruce describes three different releases as potentially "his best." One would expect reviews of this memoir to be similarly of a uniquely personal nature. That being said ...

The core of this book is made of truths that will never be read by the people that would benefit the most from doing so. Such is the frustration of speaking out against the economic and political monsters that continue to gather momentum as our planet is consumed at an alarming rate. Bruce Cockburn's world travels reveal different chapters of a theme that has remained very much the same through the decades. The details of his experiences during the trips that were the source for so many songs can be upsetting and provoking of serious anger, though for those that have heard the songs, not at all surpising. For those that have not heard the songs, it's not clear how much interest much of
Rumours of Glory will hold though the largest parts of the book's foundation can be considered "universal." Bruce shares his views on "The Divine" speaking to each of us in a very personal way. The differences between religion and spirituality have never been more eloquently stated. I found some interesting inconsistencies on this subject that another reader may or may not notice ... but that is not surprising if one agrees with the premise that each of us has a unique relationship with God, that religion falters when it attempts to pretend these inconsistencies do not exist.

With a couple of exceptions, Bruce does not specifically address the "meaning" of his lyrics, preferring to share the circumstances under which the songs were born. Also, while this is certainly not a "tell all" style of memoir, Bruce Cockburn is painfully frank in sharing his shortcomings past and present ... this was a bit of a surprise. Finally, another element not addressed here is any meaningful discussion of his guitar style though the roots of his musical tastes are shared in abundance.

I enjoyed reading Rumours of Glory and will pay it the highest compliment by saying I will read it again one day soon.
8 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Precious Gift to Bruce's Fans 17. November 2014
Von P. Hamm - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Disclaimer: I believe there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who recognize that Bruce is the greatest songwriter in the history of popular folk/rock music, and those who just haven't heard enough of him yet. So, you know I'm an uber-fan. I have everything he's ever recorded (in some cases multiple copies on vinyl and CD), and have seen him live more than any other artist. (Bruce, my brothers and I are the ones who always shout out for the really weird songs whenever you're in DC. We've made you laugh at us more than once. Sorry for ruining your concentration, at least we didn't do that crap at the National Cathedral in 06.)

Bruce memoir is not one he needed to write. Rabid fans like me (I've been listing him as a favorite songwriter for just over 30 years, having discovered him through the 1981 US Greatest Hits collection "Resume") are going to buy his music and see his concerts and even learn to sing and play his songs as long as we are blessed to have him crank them out.

Bruce takes us through all of the political, societal, personal and spiritual highways and byways that have informed his songwriting, activism and life over the years, and the ride is worth it. The story is impossible to put down (I read it in 3 or 4 sittings over 4 days), engaging and sometimes even humorous.

We get a lot of great answers to questions about his writing (like the identity of the person who actually put that bullet hole in that wall... although I'd like to know if Bruce actually sent the pictures he took... Bruce, I know you're reading... spill the beans... did ya?), and a lot of insight into both his highs and lows, his successes and failures and failings. Totally honestly, he paints a picture of a remarkably flawed man, but by the end of the book I liked him even more than I did at the beginning.

The political landscape, as Bruce sees it, is outlined graphically and with great detail, and I appreciated being informed on more than a few things I wasn't aware of, but for me, the spiritual insights were worth the price of the book alone. I know Bruce hesitates to call himself a Christian right now, but the love that God (through Christ) put in this man to give him the boldness to speak and write about the issues he's faced, not to mention the guts to visit places I would not think I would be brave enough to, still speak of a man whose spirit is very much in line with Christ. (Bruce, we are not all right-leaning capitalist republican immigrant-hating bastards, I promise you).

When I was a very young Christian, there was a very short list of prominent songwriters and authors who kept me from becoming a mindless american fundamentalist. Bruce is at the top of that list. He has made more truly great albums than anyone else I'm aware of, and his fan list reads like a who's who of great artists in their own right.

Those who are looking for detailed musical info about Bruce's unique (and incredible) playing style won't find that here. There's only SO much room for details in this book!

If I were to fault this book at all, I'd like about a chapter more of where he's at in life now, but perhaps that is too close to be easy to write about. I'd also love chapter names so I could go back and find passages while I'm listening to, say, "The Charity of Night" and want to read again about where he was then, or "In the Falling Dark". I suspect the book will make more sense and appeal to Bruce's legions of fans than those who aren't, so... what are you waiting for... get the box set, too and you can listen your way through a whole new perspective on the last few decades of politics, religion and culture.

So thankful for this book. It will be a true rarity. A musician biography I will read more than once.

Thank you, Bruce! for this book, for dozens of albums of incisive and amazing songwriting and music, and for caring about your fellow man and making us want to do that, too.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Big Disappointment 20. Dezember 2014
Von R. Smith - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
As a long time fan of Bruce Cockburn I was looking forward to reading this. Having acquired his whole discography and seen him live several times I considered myself a true believer and thought the memoir would sit well with the boxed set over the holidays.Having dipped into the book it's painfully self-engrossed and he seems to recount in detail all the girls he's leered after before. While he's done a good job of maintaining journalistic balance in his political songs but in long form he seems to lose that and the endorsement by Bill Ayers suggests his editors have never read a rock memoir before. As for his spiritual "quest" he gets so vague it's frustrating. It almost seems like they released the first draft and they should have turned it over to whoever proof reads Clinton Heylin or Greil Marcus's manuscripts and have them get it ready for the first run. Still enjoy the music though.
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Excellent Memoir -- What Cockburn Fans Have Been Waiting For 12. Dezember 2014
Von J. Blilie - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a great memoir of Bruce's life. I read it avidly and quickly. It only took me a couple of days to read it; because it is very well written. It leads you through his life as a very entertaining story.

It's imperfect; but it's also excellent. Primarily, I recommend this book because it's so readable and because it covers his life from birth through 2013. You find out many details about his life, most of which I had absolutely no clue about. You find out the sources of very many of his songs, which was a primary focus for me. Personally, I'm glad there was no additional navel-gazing in the book (I'm not looking for a psychological analysis). Bruce gives us a great deal of information on his internal motivations. I also enjoyed the full lyrics to many songs placed within their context of Bruce's life in the book: An excellent tactical choice, in my opinion.

Two things dragged on me while reading the book:

1. His continual return to his religious feelings and motivations. This gets a bit tedious after a while, though I understand why he wants to emphasize it, since it is and was so important him. Fair enough. But I often skipped these paragraphs.

2. He preached a fair bit on his political hobby-horses in the last third of the book. This also became a bit tedious; and, again, I sometimes skipped these sections towards the end of the book. (I agree with Bruce on almost all his political views; but it just got to be a bit much sometimes. And, for some American readers, his (frequent, strong) disapproval of American policies may become a bit much.)

Despite these reservations, i still give this book 5 stars: Because I enjoyed it that much; and because it a long-awaited, major resource for Bruce Cockburn fans. Do buy and read this book. It's wonderful.
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