Books by Scott Reynolds Nelson

Released: Sept. 5, 2012

"A fascinating historical narrative, even if Nelson occasionally confuses cause and effect with correlation or even coincidence in some of his case studies. "
A revisionist history of financial collapses in the United States radiating to other parts of the globe, with implications for what really caused the ongoing economic meltdown. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 11, 2007

With assistance from Aronson, a veteran author/editor and nabob of nonfiction, Nelson recasts his adult title Steel Drivin' Man: The Untold Story of an American Legend (2006) into a briefer account that not only suspensefully retraces his search for the man behind the ballad, but also serves as a useful introduction to historical-research methods. Supported by a generous array of late-19th- and early-20th-century photos—mostly of chain-gang "trackliners" and other rail workers—the narrative pieces together clues from song lyrics, an old postcard, scattered business records and other sources, arriving finally at both a photo that just might be the man himself, and strong evidence of the drilling contest's actual location. The author then goes on to make speculative but intriguing links between the trackliners' work and the origins of the blues and rock-'n'-roll, and Aronson himself closes with an analytical appendix. It's an eye-opening case study in how history and folklore can intertwine. (maps, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)Read full book review >