Thursday, March 16, 2023


At the VNSA book sale this year I found this...

...1968 paperback edition of William Styron's second novel, The Long March, from 1952. It's a good quick read, tense and vividly drawn. But I especially love how the back cover...

...tries to link the story, about a grueling forced march of Marine reservists and the psychological battle it provokes between two officers, to the allegorical anti-war protest song "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," then topical because it had been censored by CBS from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967. The cover misattributes the song to Woody Guthrie; it was of course by Pete Seeger. CBS eventually relented and Seeger did the song on the show in early 1968.

Around the same time, my peacenik sister used to sing me that song when I was little; I can still sing it word for word.

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