Book review: Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, by Anita Silvey

Silvey, Anita. Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger. Clarion, 2016. $17.99. 112p. ISBN 9780547330129. Ages 11-15. P5Q10

silvey-let-your-voice-be-heardBorn into a privileged family, this noted folksinger became a social activist because of his parents’ influence and spent his life fighting injustices. He was surrounded by other musical activists, mentors Alan Lomax and Woody Guthrie, as well as his performances with the Weavers, who were attacked by the infamous Sen. Joseph McCarthy in his witch-hunt for Communists in the 1950s. After being blacklisted because of this persecution, he traveled throughout the country to play at schools where he gained a huge fan base of youth who cared about folk songs. Seeger protested the Vietnam War, participated in the civil rights movement, and eventually led a cleanup of the Hudson River. Silvey’s passion for her subject is shown through her extensive research and use of primary source materials and photographs, and her lively writing brings Seeger’s past to life. Through this biography, young people can see that music can be an important piece of activism.

Fall 2016 review by Nel Ward.

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