Eric Alterman, a professor of English at Brooklyn College, is a contributor to the recently released collection Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen (Rutgers University Press, 2019). His essay in the book is titled “Growing Up With Bruce Springsteen: A Fan’s Notes.” Here is a taste of an excerpt of that essay published in today’s New York Times:
Bruce Springsteen is the son of Catholic parents and grandparents. There is no ambiguity on this point. And yet, in much the same way that New York football fans have casually annexed the stadium across the river to root for what they like to pretend is their “home” team, some Jewish Springsteen fans are devoted to proving that New Jersey’s favorite Irish Italian son is, if not actually Jewish, nevertheless somehow Jew-ish. Perhaps you thought young Bruce was mostly singing about cars, girls, and getting the hell out of town before he switched gears to focus on the dignity of working folk, the broken promises of the American dream, and more cars and girls. But amid the empty factories, crowded barstools, and swimming holes that constitute the foundation of the Springsteen oeuvre, some detect a whiff of the Chosen.
Read the rest here.