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Russell was airlifted out of Altamont with the Stones, shot the “Let It Be” cover for the Beatles and was on the rooftop for their last concert, took the cover image for “Who’s Next,” and directed the last video with John Lennon the week before he was murdered. His early career coincided with a cultural storm of music, art, politics, civil rights, power, change, and evolution that reshaped the world and became the collective story of a generation.
Now, Russell captures the spirit of those times and brings new resonance to them in AN AMERICAN STORY: It’s Your History. Help Write It. (Charles Books; June 16, 2012; $9.99), his fascinating memoir that wraps his personal journey in a shared-interactive history of the 20th century — the first publication of its kind — a rich reader experience with a wealth of interaction that could only exist in an ebook. Creating a bridge from then to now, his unique inquiry into America enables eReaders to participate in AN AMERICAN STORY via a multi-tiered interaction with his dedicated blog, and audio, video, and social interface, where readers can add their own stories and comments.
As examples, Ethan Russell recounts John Lennon speaking of his musical influences, saying, “I’m still trying to reproduce ‘Some Other Guy’ or ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula,’” and at that point the book links to a video of Gene Vincent’s rocking performance of ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula.’ You can watch concert videos of Linda Ronstadt, listen to Nixon’s “Silent Majority” speech and Bruce Springsteen’s “Point Blank,” and then add your own reaction to the song, the speech, the video, Russell’s blog, the American story.
With a foreword by Rosanne Cash, AN AMERICAN STORY includes more than 250 images, and never-before-published photographs of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Jim Morrison, The Eagles, and others, and a multitude of insightful behind-the-scenes stories of the artists and the music that rocked the world. It is accessible on any reader platform, including iPad, iPhone, Nook, and all Kindle devices.**
(For tips and videos on how the book and blog work together go here.)
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