Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet (Paperback)

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About the Author

Seth Rogovoy is an award-winning music critic, radio commentator, musician, and author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover’s Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music (Algonquin Books, 2000). His writing has appeared in Newsday, Haaretz, the Boston Phoenix, Hadassah Magazine, the Forward, and on the web at the Rogovoy Report ( He lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where he is editor-in-chief of Berkshire Living magazine. His grandparents were from Russia, and he has blue eyes.

Praise For…

"Of all the influences resulting in the genius of Bob Dylan’s music, far too little attention has been paid to Dylan’s Jewish heritage. Seth Rogovoy corrects that deficiency by deftly weaving together his love of Dylanology with his love of Judaism."

— Ed Siegel, contributor to WBUR-FM and the Boston Globe op-ed page

"Seth Rogovoy proves that he is not only a master of Dylan’s music and life journey, but most significantly, of the whole idea of prophecy. Rogovoy’s Dylan stays true to his core vision through an era that would have tested Isaiah. In the clarity of his own vision, Rogovoy’s Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet stands with Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed, and Greil Marcus’ The Shape of Things to Come. Few books make that distinguished cut. This one does. It is required reading for those who seek to understand not only Dylan, but the meaning of their own life. This is serious stuff. It’s also a pleasure to read. Each page is a ride with music all its own."

— Rabbi Alan Berg

“Even after almost fifty years, the language of Bob Dylan’s songs remains full of uncharted territory. Seth Rogovoy is uniquely qualified to examine the connections between Dylan’s songwriting and the Jewish liturgy, and Prophet, Mystic, Poet helps fill in one more piece of an endless and endlessly fascinating puzzle.”

— Alan Light, former senior writer at Rolling Stone and frequent contributor to The New York Times

"A book to add to the shelf of your Bob Dylan library -- Seth Rogovoy offers a unique perspective that examines Bob Dylan within the spectrum of Jewish religious history, but is never scholarly or pedantic. It's an entertaining read, with fresh anecdotes (at least to me they were!). Mr. Rogovoy culls images from religious texts and matches them with Bob Dylan's lyrics; he also points out when the lyrics preceded the events that they would seem to be about, suggesting that Bob Dylan is in fact a prophet, included in the lineage of Jewish Prophets. I enjoyed this book very much and found it thought-provoking." -- Suzanne Vega

"A bold attempt to explain why Dylan so often sounds like my zeyde." -- Michael Wex, author of Born to Kvetch and How to Be a Mentsh (and Not a Shmuck)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781416559160
ISBN-10: 1416559167
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: January 28th, 2012
Pages: 336
Language: English