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In the Stacks: A "Beatles" book review, a LibGuides update

January 23, 2015 at 8:50 am

In the Stacks

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This month in Acquisitions

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From the Archives
In the Stacks

Pictured above, Mabel Lee circa 1930, a few years after she left Beloit. Mabel Lee was the Women’s Physical Education Director from 1920-1924.



Book Review by Archivist Fred Burwell

As a longtime Beatles fan, I’ve read countless books on their history and music, but none better than The Beatles: All These Years, Vol. 1: Tune In, by historian, Mark Lewisohn. The first in a projected three volume series, Tune In initially provides historical context and a touch of genealogy – we learn about both the development and isolation of Liverpool, meet Beatle ancestors and then follow the Beatles themselves from their early childhoods in the lean post-war years, through their musical awakening as skiffle players and rock ‘n’ rollers.  Lewisohn brings to colorful life the Fab Four’s apprenticeship in Liverpool's Cavern Club and in the clubs on the infamous Reeperbahn of Hamburg, Germany. He also adeptly describes and analyzes their growth as musicians, songwriters and recording artists. While jam-packed with details, Tune In reads like a page-turner of a novel. At 944 pages, one might expect Lewisohn to cover the band’s entire history, but volume one takes the story to the end of 1962, a month and a half before they recorded their first album. I have to admit that as a Beatlemaniac, I raced through Lewisohn’s extended 1,728 page edition, but the standard edition will surely satisfy anyone fascinated by this 20th century cultural phenomenon.