I have to add to what I just wrote about Bob Dylan in China under the headline, “Did Dylan sell out in China?” and draw your attention to Sean Wilentz’ post today on the New Yorker blog.
Wilentz, a professor at Princeton University, is, you may know, the author of the superb book, “Bob Dylan in America,” so he knows what he’s talking about when he writes:
“I’d argue Dylan made a fool of the Chinese authorities, while getting paid in the bargain. He certainly made a fool of Maureen Dowd– or she made a fool of herself.”
And Wilentz continues:
“But Dylan learned long ago that he is not a particularly good conventional political spokesman. His gifts lie elsewhere, in composing and singing songs of love and loss and the rest of human experience, above and beyond politics, although politics is always there as well. His art has changed the world mightily, and not just in righting political wrongs.”