Bob Dylan has spent much of the past fifty years trying to escape the label of "protest singer.” Over the past decade, there have been plenty of serious topics for the topically minded song writer to address: the Iraq War, threats to civil liberties, rising economic inequality, the financial collapse of 2008 and "Great Recession" that followed. Unlike his musical peers Neil Young (Living with War [2006]) and Bruce Springsteen (Wrecking Ball [2012]), Dylan to date has not addressed those events in any direct way, through new topical songs, in the last stage of his career.

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Copyright © 2017 University Press of Mississippi. This book chapter first appeared in Tearing the World Apart: Bob Dylan and the Twenty-First Century.

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