Woody Guthrie, American radical

Although he achieved a host of national honors and adorns U.S. postage stamps, and although his song This land is your land is often considered the nation’s second national anthem, Woody Guthrie committed his life to radical struggle.

Guthrie’s political awakening and activism can be traced throughout the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, the Civil Rights struggle, and the poison of McCarthyism. He played a major role in the development of a workers’ culture in the context of radical activism, particularly through his influence on the U.S. and international protest song movement.

This according to Woody Guthrie, American radical by Will Kaufman (Urbana: Universty of Illinois Press, 2011).

Today is Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday! Below, Emmylou Harris and his son Arlo present Woody’s classic take on a still-timely topic. Guthrie was inspired to write Deportee by what he considered the racist mistreatment of Mexican migrant farm workers before and after a 1948 airplane crash that killed 32 people. Subsequent news coverage only named the four U.S. citizens who died in the accident, so Guthrie sought to identify the 28 fallen Mexicans as real people as well.

Related article: Woody Guthrie, visual artist

7 Comments

Filed under Politics, Popular music

7 responses to “Woody Guthrie, American radical

  1. Pingback: Woody Guthrie, visual artist | Bibliolore

  2. The world still needs Woody Guthrie! He stood up for the little man and the working class. He fought for the rights of the common person and helped spread the ideal that this is truly “our land.” I paid tribute to the legendary musician with a portrait of Woody which you can see on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/07/woody-guthrie-centennial.html where you can drop by and let me know how Woody’s voice has spoken to you as well.

    Like

  3. Marlene Saposnik

    Woody Guthrie wrote wonderful music for children. When my then 3-year old daughter wanted a record on the turntable, she always brought “Wooden” Guthrie.

    Like

  4. Hi there,

    Thought I’d drop a line and give you a link to my Woody Site and Vids. Feel free to upload to your site if you see fit. Keep up the good work!

    Thanks,

    Rob

    http://www.dustbowlproductions.com

    Like

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