Books and Music at the Heart of Independent Publishing

All hail Billy Bragg!

May 31, 2017 | by johng

Tags: billy bragg, roots radicals and rockers

Billy Bragg’s new book Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World is published on the 1st June 2017. You might have seen him talking about it on Jools Holland’s Later, or heard him on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row or Jonathan Ross’s show on BBC Radio 2. It’s already been receiving rave reviews.

‘This is a riveting book, written by a fan who sees the links and mutations between musics. Bragg’s acute vision helps him paint a vivid history.’ **** New Internationalist

‘Essential library addition for anybody interested in the roots of where we are today, and a brilliant read to boot.’ fRoots Magazine

‘With music acting as a centrepiece, Bragg adroitly links the changes in films, politics, television and teenage life as he proceeds […] Impressive and puts one ‘in-the-room’ throughout’ **** Mojo

Roots, Radicals and Rockers is full of fascinating digressions but it also traces the grand sweep of an unfurling counterculture, from its politics to its music. With an archivist’s sense of mission, a musician’s knowledge and a fan’s joy, Bragg performs a real national service: illuminating a moment all too easily lost.’ Sunday Times

‘The bard of Barking has written a first-rate work of history’ Financial Times

‘An impressive work of popular scholarship […] Roots, Radicals and Rockers is an admirably detailed and contextualised pre-Beatles history and it is long overdue.’ The Arts Desk

‘An absorbing, richly detailed look at how British skiffle music in the late Fifties, often played on improvised instruments such as washboards by the likes of Lonnie Donegan, sparked a revolution that shaped pop music.’ i (Independent)

‘A detailed and intelligently written study of a fascinating and important period in musical history.’ Hot Press

‘Superb account, by British folk-punker Bragg (A Lover Sings: Selected Lyrics, 2016, etc.), of the politically aware, working-class skiffle craze of the 1950s. … Writing with an expert practitioner’s appreciation for music, Bragg tells the story of British rock-‘n’-roll’s forerunner with verve and great intelligence.’ Kirkus

He’s got lots of events lined up too:

UK and Ireland

June 4th – Nottingham UK, Rough Trade. Tickets HERE.

June 16th – Dalkey, IRE, Dalkey Book Festival. Tickets HERE.

July 3rd – Liverpool UK, Philharmonic Hall. Tickets HERE.

August 20th – Brecon Beacons Wales, Green Man Festival. Tickets HERE.

October 29th – Bridport Festival. Tickets HERE.


July 18th – Literati Bookstore co-hosed by The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI. Tickets HERE.

July 19th – Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
. Tickets HERE.

July 20 – Brookline Booksmith, Boston, MA
. Tickets HERE.

July 21 – American Folklife Center at Library of Congress, Washington. Tickets HERE.

July 22 – The Strand, New York, N. Tickets HERE. Facebook HERE.

July 25 – Magers & Quinn Bookstore, 
Minneapolis, MN
. Tickets HERE.

Watch this place for Canadian events too.

The UK edition is available from 1st June at £20.
The US edition is available from July 11th at $29.95.
The Canadian edition is available from July 25th at $42.95