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05.01.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
In 2007 the Library of Congress inaugurated an award called the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Its first recipient, Paul Simon, is uncontroversial until you think about whom else might have won in that debut year. Without Bob Dylan�s example, Simon might have enjoyed a career as a pop tunesmith in the Brill Building or published a poem or two. He�s unlikely to have gone as far if Dylan hadn�t ...
01.17.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Amnesty International was an obscure activist group for many years after its founding in 1961. Its mission to eliminate torture and free prisoners of conscience was thrust onto the pop culture stage by a series of Amnesty International events, the Secret Policeman�s Balls. A three-DVD box set collects all five balls, starting with a 1976 comedy benefit and running through the star-studded Secret...

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