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Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Beatles and America, Then and Now

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This February 7 marks 50 years since The Beatles first came to America. A thousand tributes will tell you what happened. But how and why did it happen the way it did? What was America really like then, culturally and socially, that allowed the group to strike such a deep nerve? And what was it about The Beatles themselves—their backgrounds, their style, and of course their This February 7 marks 50 years since The Beatles first came to America. A thousand tributes will tell you what happened. But how and why did it happen the way it did? What was America really like then, culturally and socially, that allowed the group to strike such a deep nerve? And what was it about The Beatles themselves—their backgrounds, their style, and of course their music—that made them so unlike anything Americans had seen before? Respected political journalist Michael Tomasky explains the group’s impact in the context of the times in this richly detailed, often surprising, I-never-knew-that! account of why The Beatles became the phenomenon they did. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! delivers much more than a blow-by-blow of how the band conquered America. It’s a truly unique take on a well-known story that’s sure to delight existing fans—and to explain to people who weren’t around then but who want to know more precisely why it is that The Beatles still finish number one on all those greatest-ever lists. Advance Praise: “Wow. I remember The Beatles' arrival--I was nine--and have spent lots of time thinking and writing about the period, but this book was a revelation. No one has has more lucidly and entertainingly distilled the whys and hows and look and feel of the moment the Sixties began.” --Kurt Andersen, novelist and host, NPR’s Studio 360 “I hadn't been born yet when the Beatles arrived, but Michael Tomasky puts that arrival in context like no book that's come before. Many of the best Beatles books assume the reader was there for the band's arrival. Tomasky puts early Beatlemania in a cultural, historical, and musical context that finally allows younger generations to understand the band's impact at the time--it’s like a scientist finally documenting all the elements that allowed The Big Bang to happen. It's not just a great book about rock’n'roll; it's an essential guide to the Sixties. It's a delight for fans of music and history.” --John Fugelsang, comic, actor, host of George Harrison: The Last Performance


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This February 7 marks 50 years since The Beatles first came to America. A thousand tributes will tell you what happened. But how and why did it happen the way it did? What was America really like then, culturally and socially, that allowed the group to strike such a deep nerve? And what was it about The Beatles themselves—their backgrounds, their style, and of course their This February 7 marks 50 years since The Beatles first came to America. A thousand tributes will tell you what happened. But how and why did it happen the way it did? What was America really like then, culturally and socially, that allowed the group to strike such a deep nerve? And what was it about The Beatles themselves—their backgrounds, their style, and of course their music—that made them so unlike anything Americans had seen before? Respected political journalist Michael Tomasky explains the group’s impact in the context of the times in this richly detailed, often surprising, I-never-knew-that! account of why The Beatles became the phenomenon they did. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! delivers much more than a blow-by-blow of how the band conquered America. It’s a truly unique take on a well-known story that’s sure to delight existing fans—and to explain to people who weren’t around then but who want to know more precisely why it is that The Beatles still finish number one on all those greatest-ever lists. Advance Praise: “Wow. I remember The Beatles' arrival--I was nine--and have spent lots of time thinking and writing about the period, but this book was a revelation. No one has has more lucidly and entertainingly distilled the whys and hows and look and feel of the moment the Sixties began.” --Kurt Andersen, novelist and host, NPR’s Studio 360 “I hadn't been born yet when the Beatles arrived, but Michael Tomasky puts that arrival in context like no book that's come before. Many of the best Beatles books assume the reader was there for the band's arrival. Tomasky puts early Beatlemania in a cultural, historical, and musical context that finally allows younger generations to understand the band's impact at the time--it’s like a scientist finally documenting all the elements that allowed The Big Bang to happen. It's not just a great book about rock’n'roll; it's an essential guide to the Sixties. It's a delight for fans of music and history.” --John Fugelsang, comic, actor, host of George Harrison: The Last Performance

30 review for Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Beatles and America, Then and Now

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gino

    OK but... OK so the Beatles started a revolution. Time will tell if that was a good thing. Michael your liberal bent is somewhat annoying. I'm a big Beatles fan,but elevating any person into the metaphysical is pretentious. At 66 I'm more saddened by their influence on our mores. OK but... OK so the Beatles started a revolution. Time will tell if that was a good thing. Michael your liberal bent is somewhat annoying. I'm a big Beatles fan,but elevating any person into the metaphysical is pretentious. At 66 I'm more saddened by their influence on our mores.

  2. 4 out of 5

    William F. DeVault

    Being a Beatles fan from an early age (I am old enough to have watched them on Ed Sullivan) and knowing the author, a gifted and insightful political writer for the Daily Beast, I couldn't help but to read it and appreciate the cultural context he gives to the Fab Four. Worth a read if you are interested in The Beatles, the 60's, or musical impact on culture. Being a Beatles fan from an early age (I am old enough to have watched them on Ed Sullivan) and knowing the author, a gifted and insightful political writer for the Daily Beast, I couldn't help but to read it and appreciate the cultural context he gives to the Fab Four. Worth a read if you are interested in The Beatles, the 60's, or musical impact on culture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Michael Tomasky's long essay about The Beatles is interesting and informative. We learn about the hardscrabble background of the Fab Four and what they had to overcome as they developed their fresh sound. We gain some insights into their collective personality, about how self-effacing and (nearly) untouched they were by their worldwide fame and fortune. Tomasky devotes a chapter to the complexities of their compositions and how they contributed to a revolution in music...even becoming the soundt Michael Tomasky's long essay about The Beatles is interesting and informative. We learn about the hardscrabble background of the Fab Four and what they had to overcome as they developed their fresh sound. We gain some insights into their collective personality, about how self-effacing and (nearly) untouched they were by their worldwide fame and fortune. Tomasky devotes a chapter to the complexities of their compositions and how they contributed to a revolution in music...even becoming the soundtrack for the revolutionary '60s. The book doesn't give short shrift to the early Beatles that hit the U.S. shores in 1964, showing how that sound was so different from what people were listening to at the time and how it influenced generation(s) of other musicians. Tomasky was 3 when The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. It's a shame he wasn't a teenager at the time because he probably could provide more firsthand, even if vicariously, about those times. Casual and diehard fans of The Beatles will like this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Seth D Michaels

    Loved this! Really great, very brief e-book about the over-covered subject of the Beatles. I've never seen the arrival of the Beatles in early 1964 put in such useful context: Tomasky explains the world they arrived in, the innovations they introduced, and the changes they left in their wake from the lenses of music, attitude, and culture. In particular, I've rarely read a music book that explains so clearly how and why certain songs sound the way they do from a technical perspective (as in "her Loved this! Really great, very brief e-book about the over-covered subject of the Beatles. I've never seen the arrival of the Beatles in early 1964 put in such useful context: Tomasky explains the world they arrived in, the innovations they introduced, and the changes they left in their wake from the lenses of music, attitude, and culture. In particular, I've rarely read a music book that explains so clearly how and why certain songs sound the way they do from a technical perspective (as in "here's what the drums are doing here and how that affects the tone and sound, nobody else did this before").

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    Fascinating look at the Beatles, their music and their lives, both professional and personal. I read this in one day, it was THAT good. The story about Imelda Marcos (past first lady of the Phillipines) arranging for the Beatles to be attacked was really scary and given the Marcos' reputation as vicious dictators, no doubt true. The book is full of great stories about the Beatles. Fascinating look at the Beatles, their music and their lives, both professional and personal. I read this in one day, it was THAT good. The story about Imelda Marcos (past first lady of the Phillipines) arranging for the Beatles to be attacked was really scary and given the Marcos' reputation as vicious dictators, no doubt true. The book is full of great stories about the Beatles.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Glen J

  7. 5 out of 5

    Philip Leggiere

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fred Schultz

  9. 4 out of 5

    S Kudelka

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christine Mungai

  11. 5 out of 5

    Claire Hall

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jason Whiting

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sam Gorbea

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lorelei

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ken Keaton

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bob Mcconnaughey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fish Byter

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Kevin Allen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Norman DeLisle

  24. 5 out of 5

    alena hutchinson

  25. 4 out of 5

    John Fielding

  26. 5 out of 5

    Craigrhodes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Makenzie Dolnick

  28. 4 out of 5

    David Franklin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Les Alexander

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stewart

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