After reading Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Bruce Springsteen sat down, wrote, and recorded “Nebraska,” perhaps his best social and political work. Zinn once said he decided to write A People’s History after listening to Woody Guthrie’s lyrics about Colorado’s Ludlow Massacre. Guthrie goosed Bob Dylan towards political consciousness who in turn moved Springsteen to consider writing stories “from below” — stories against the grain of the “great men” theory of history.

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