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James Lincoln Collier

Teoksen My Brother Sam is Dead tekijä

96+ Works 7,425 Jäsentä 118 arvostelua 1 Favorited

About the Author

James Lincoln Collier was born in 1928. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1950 and served in the infantry during the Korean War. After college, Collier worked first for six years as a magazine editor, writing in his spare time. In 1958, he quit to work free-lance, and has since then published näytä lisää over six hundred magazine articles for periodicals such as, Playboy, Esquire, the New York Times Magazine and the Village Voice. Collier has also published a half dozen books for adults, the most recent being The Making of Jazz, which was nominated for an American Book Award, was named to the London Observer's Books of the Year List for 1979, and has been published in English, French, German, and Russian editions. Collier also published twenty-three children's books, five in collaboration with his brother, Christopher Collier. These have been published in seven languages, and have won the Child Study Association Book Award, a Newbery Honor Medal, a Jane Addams Peace Prize, and a National Book Award nomination. Many of them have appeared on the ALA Notable Book List, and others on the New York Public Library's recommended book list. Collier is also a professional trombonist, and writes fiction and nonfiction on the subject of music. His book, Rock Star, won an award from the Child Study Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College. My Brother Sam Is Dead was a Newbery Honor Book in 1975 and was designated a Notable Book by the American Library Association as well as being nominated for a National Book Award in 1975. Jump Ship to Freedom was named a Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies in 1981 by a joint committee of the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council. War Comes to Willy Freeman is a companion book to the novel. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän
Image credit: EMS Author Photos


Tekijän teokset

My Brother Sam is Dead (1975) 3,859 kappaletta
The Empty Mirror (2004) 390 kappaletta
With Every Drop of Blood (1992) 237 kappaletta
The Bloody Country (Point) (1976) 188 kappaletta
The Winter Hero (1978) 159 kappaletta
Duke Ellington (1987) 86 kappaletta
The Making of Jazz (1978) 86 kappaletta
The Clock (1992) 77 kappaletta
Benny Goodman and the Swing Era (1989) 59 kappaletta
Jazz: The American Theme Song (1993) 37 kappaletta
The Jazz Kid (1994) 27 kappaletta
The Clara Barton You Never Knew (2003) 23 kappaletta
When the Stars Begin to Fall (1986) 23 kappaletta
The rise of the cities (2001) 22 kappaletta
Me and Billy (2004) 21 kappaletta
Jazz: An American Saga (1997) 18 kappaletta
The Winchesters (1988) 18 kappaletta
Outside Looking in (1987) 17 kappaletta
The Sitting Bull You Never Knew (2003) 16 kappaletta
Wild Boy (2002) 15 kappaletta
My Crooked Family (1991) 14 kappaletta
Chipper (2001) 12 kappaletta
Inside Jazz (1973) 12 kappaletta
The Great Jazz Artists (1977) 9 kappaletta
Planet Out of the Past (1983) 8 kappaletta
Its Murder at St. Baskets (1972) 8 kappaletta
The Mark Twain You Never Knew (2004) 8 kappaletta
The automobile (2005) 7 kappaletta
Give Dad my best (1976) 6 kappaletta
Vaccines (2005) 6 kappaletta
Electricity and the light bulb (2005) 5 kappaletta
Rock Star (1970) — Tekijä — 4 kappaletta
Making Music for Money (1976) 4 kappaletta
Gunpowder and weaponry (2004) 3 kappaletta
L'Aventure du jazz, tome 1 (1981) 3 kappaletta
CB (A Concise Guide) (1977) 3 kappaletta
The Tecumseh You Never Knew (2004) 3 kappaletta
A VISIT TO THE FIREHOUSE (1967) 3 kappaletta
De store jazzmusikere (1980) 1 kappale
The steam engine 1 kappale
Fires of Youth (1968) 1 kappale

Associated Works

Merkitty avainsanalla




Great reading! Unlike some books, this one immediately caught my eye. Great characters and a compelling plot. Strongly suggested. It vividly depicts the specifics of life during that historical period as well as the challenges of being a young child trying to find an idol. The initial viewpoint changed the game. I think that this book should be read while studying the American Revolution because it helps develop the understanding that not everyone in the colonies was in support of fighting for freedom from King George III.… (lisätietoja)
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jkk023 | 88 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 27, 2023 |
First person narrative by 13-year-old
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Smoscoso | 1 muu arvostelu | Nov 11, 2022 |
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier is the story of Tim Meeker, a 14-year-old boy living in the American colonies during the tumultuous time of the Revolutionary War. At first the war seems distant to Tim, just a topic of conversation in the tavern his family keeps. However, when his older brother Sam enlists in the Continental Army over the fierce objections of their Loyalist father, the war truly comes home for the Meeker family. Written by an acclaimed children’s author and his historian brother, the novel draws on historical facts to paint a picture of everyday life for a Colonial family swept up in the conflict and violence of the Revolution. My Brother Sam is Dead shows that, despite our national mythology surrounding the Revolution and the Founding Fathers, not all of the colonists were in favor of the rebellion, and many friends and families were bitterly divided over the subject. In the story, the soldiers Tim encounters do not always behave according to what we may assume; the British soldiers wistfully yearn for home, and the desperate Continental forces steal from the very colonists for whom’s freedom they are fighting. As Tim’s mother remarks, “War turns men into beasts” (140). The epilogue leads readers to consider if there may have been a path to American independence that did not require the loss of so many lives. The book is an unflinching portrayal of the horrors of war, and some readers may be turned off by its descriptions of violence. However, for most readers, I think this is an excellent, fast-moving story that forces us to reflect on our assumptions about American history and the true cost of war.… (lisätietoja)
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Jennifer_Bowen | 88 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 15, 2021 |
Jazz: The American Theme Song (1993) is a collection of ten essays that probe some of the key controversies in jazz historiography. Collier writes with a keen historical sense and a penchant for provocative polemic.

The Inevitability of Jazz
Collier argues that the emergence of jazz in the U.S. was ‘inevitable,’ given the unique set of social, economic, and intellectual conditions prevailing at the time. He says that jazz emerged in an intellectual and cultural milieu marked by modernism and the revolt against Victorian Age constraints. Urbanization, immigration, and a concomitant shift in attitudes and behavior made pleasure-seeking increasingly acceptable, and entrepreneurs leapt to provide entertainment, drink and dance to a public straining against ‘regimentation and regularity.’ In the name of limiting crime and maintaining order, local authorities in most major American cities established semi-formal vice districts centered on brothels and saloons. A boom in social dancing sparked by the popularity of black entertainment troupes encouraged the establishment of cabarets and dancehalls, and profits from the sale of booze enabled proprietors to hire more and more musicians. Nightlife in the vice districts and in ordinary black enclaves fostered the mixing of classes and races, says Collier. ‘Black and tans’ were saloons and cabarets with black entertainment, black waiters and bartenders, designed to draw a substantial white clientele, which had more money to spend. The ‘midnight ramble’ was a special performance in a black theatre or club presented after hours for a white audience. The embrace of black music and dance in the black and tans and the midnight rambles was a manifestation of the interest that white Americans had taken in the black subculture—which came to affect all of American culture.

Jazz was enmeshed in the fabric of American society. It could not have existed without this elaborate context, or it would have gone on as a specialized folk music in a hidden subculture of New Orleans. It could not have become what it did without the new dances, the proliferating entertainment industry that gave it a format in which to be exposed, the technology that produced the phonograph and the big city in which the new show business was possible.

Jazz and Commercialism
Collier also challenges the presumed opposition between jazz and commercialism, claiming that jazz has always been a part of show business, and that the music evolved as it did through the interplay of musicians and audience—up to a point. While the distinctive musical idiom that developed into jazz may have originated among non-professional musicians, ‘as soon as black musicians started playing for white audiences, the line between folk music and professional entertainment was crossed.’ Jazz began as part of show business; in New Orleans, at the beginning of the 20th century, black musicians played in white night clubs, at the picnic grounds by Lake Ponchartrain, and even at private dances in wealthy white homes. Collier uncovers evidence of proto-jazz bands on the West Coast as early as 1907 and in Chicago on the eve of WWI, and those musicians migrated not to play for their own people, but for white audiences. Jazz was being played in cabarets and black and tans in most major cities before 1920.

Commercially-sponsored radio broadcasts brought jazz into homes across the U.S. (Fletcher Henderson made his first broadcast performance in 1921). By 1924, writes Collier, virtually every one of the best jazz musicians of the time—Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Bubber Miley, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver—were in show business, in cabarets and ballrooms and on radio and records. Commercial calculation moved Fletcher Henderson to recruit Armstrong for his band’s run at the Roseland Ballroom, where the audience wanted to hear more ‘hot’ music; Armstrong’s Hot Five recordings were the consequence of Okeh’s strategy to carve out a niche in the black record market.

In the 1920s and 30s, jazz and its audience evolved together, says Collier. Musicians, influenced by what audiences wanted to hear—and by entrepreneurs in pursuit of public favor—developed ideas about how the music ought to be played. Collier uncovers the story of Art Hickman and Ferde Grofé in San Francisco, who developed the recipe for the large dance band by incorporating a saxophone section and the ‘raggy’ techniques of itinerant New Orleans musicians. As popular tastes shifted from Dixieland combos to large dance bands, Paul Whiteman hired Grofé as an arranger and launched a new phenomenon; in the wake of Whiteman’s success, black bands led by Henderson, Armstrong, Duke Ellington and King Oliver adopted the ‘symphonic’ jazz style. Ellington honed his craft at the Cotton Club in Harlem in front of white audiences, in collaboration with the music publisher Irving Mills, who needed a band to perform his company’s songs and push sales of sheet music. The regimen of radio broadcasts from the Cotton Club forced Ellington to produce new music on a regular basis. In the 1930s, big-band jazz (‘swing’) was pop music; ‘songwriters had to produce songs that swing bands would play, swing bands had to play what audiences wanted.’ Most people, says Collier, thought of jazz as entertainment, as a wing of show business. Setting jazz in opposition to commerce obscures the point that ‘jazz musicians began as manipulators of human feelings, choosing themes, devices and procedures to build suspense, inspire awe or pity, produce tears and laughter.’ They had to emotionally engage and provide pleasure for the dancers and cabaret patrons upon whom their livelihoods depended. Jazz was supposed to be fun, and you can’t dance to art.

Jazz gets serious
The popularity of orchestral jazz and the big dance bands in the 1930s presaged the dissolution of the jazz world into contending camps. Enthusiasts debated which qualities actually constituted ‘authentic’ jazz, as critics and commentators argued the merits of different jazz styles. Implicit in such discussions was the notion that jazz was more than mere entertainment, that jazz was a topic worthy of serious consideration and interpretation. The first serious studies of jazz developed from the passion for hot record collecting, says Collier. ‘Hot clubs’ and hobbyists compared early jazz recordings and compiled discographies, sometimes sponsoring the reissue of old and rare items to save them from oblivion. In the late 1930s, periodicals and books appeared that treated jazz seriously, though analysis and expertise were informal and subjective.

The first scholarly treatments appeared in the late 1940s, and by the mid-1950s jazz festivals and conferences and State Department-sponsored tours signaled the arrival of jazz in the vicinity of serious art. Some jazz musicians discovered that they could earn a living playing concerts rather than working in restaurants, night clubs and dance halls. Jazz was ‘no longer hedged in by show business,’ says Collier, and musicians began to experiment and to deliberately intellectualize their music, separating jazz from its mass audience. A new generation of critics and commentators hailed the arrival of jazz as an art form.

Here Collier’s devotion to pre-bop styles leads him to collapse and confuse the timeline. He has no real explanation for (or interest in?) how and why jazz changed in the 1940s and after. Because he has little to say about particular musicians, or much willingness to let them speak for themselves, he is unable to develop a robust account of the evolution of the jazz aesthetic. Collier pivots from the social and economic factors behind the emergence of jazz early in the 20th century—factors still necessary to fully understand changes in the music—to an emphasis on the mid-century intellectual winds that turned jazz away from its broad audience, claiming for writers like himself an exaggerated role in the shifting fortunes of the music. He does not engage in any meaningful way with ‘modern’ jazz (Bebop and after), and the academic homogeneity that he decries was more germane to the so-called neo-traditionalists of the 1980s (who irritated Collier, with their own narrow version of jazz history).

…and the critics
Collier seems ambivalent about the evolution of jazz into something worthy of serious study, and his chapter on the history of jazz criticism muddles the issue further, by arguing that jazz writing and commentary should be more scholarly. The first generation of jazz critics came from outside the jazz world, with broad interests in culture generally, but with little familiarity with cabarets, musicians, club owners or the practicalities of the jazz life. (Roger Pryor Dodge first reviewed the earliest jazz commentators in Jazzmen). Second-generation critics were jazz fans interested in historical and discographic research, and brought a sense of mission to the work; it was this group, writes Collier, that ‘force[d] on American society the idea that jazz was an important element in the culture…something that should be taken seriously.’ (He does not provide analysis of or evidence for the cultural power wielded by jazz critics, so this sounds like hyperbole). These critics formed friendships with musicians, wrote songs and liner notes, produced records and arranged concerts; the whole system became ‘hopelessly compromised’ by a passionate lack of objectivity. (Does jazz, or music in general, permit of such objectivity?) The third generation of critics (Collier’s contemporaries) came to jazz in the swing and bop eras and grew up reading jazz periodicals and the books produced by the second generation. This third group, in Collier’s view, maintained the ‘fan approach’ to jazz writing while concentrating on journalistic essays guided by gut feelings rather than careful study. Generally lacking in musical training, and concerned less with discovering facts than with promoting their own sensibilities, third-generation critics achieved unprecedented influence over the interpretation and presentation of jazz before the public. It is the pretense to authority on the part of critics with so little devotion to intellectual rigor that leads Collier to wish for more scholarship among those writing on jazz. Despite a tendency to conflate the discourse with the thing itself, his review of the fallacies and foibles of some of the most prominent names in jazz criticism since the 1950s is the most entertaining part of Jazz: The American Theme Song.
… (lisätietoja)
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JazzBookJournal | Apr 8, 2021 |



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