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About the book
  • Published: 6 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409041399
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

The Man Who Sold The World

David Bowie And The 1970s

Brilliant musical critique; biographical insight and acute cultural analysis, The Man Who Sold The World is a unique study of David Bowie and the 1970s.

* No artist offered a more incisive and accurate portrait of the troubled landscape of the 1970s than David Bowie. Through his multi-faceted and inventive work, he encapsulated many of the social, political and cultural themes that ran through this most fascinating of decades, from the elusive promise of scientific progress to the persistent fear of apocalypse that stalked the globe.

* In The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie and the 1970s, cultural historian Peter Doggett explores the rich heritage of the artist's most productive and inspired decade, and traces the way in which his music reflected and influenced the world around him.

* The book follows his career from 'Space Oddity', his dark vision of mankind's voyage into the unknown terrain of space, to the Scary Monsters album. It examines in detail his audacious creation of an 'alien' rock star, Ziggy Stardust, and his own increasingly perilous explorations of the nature of identity and the meaning of fame, against the backdrop of his family heritage of mental instability.

* Among the book's wider themes are the West's growing sense of insecurity in the age of oil shortages and terrorism; the changing nature of sexual roles, as represented by Bowie's pioneering adoption of a bisexual persona; the emergence of a new experimental form of rock music that would leave an indelible mark on the decades to come; and the changing nature of many of the world's great cities, including London, New York, Los Angeles and Berlin, each of which played host to Bowie during particularly creative periods of his career.

* Mixing brilliant musical critique with biographical insight and acute cultural analysis, The Man Who Sold The World is a unique study of a major artist and his times.

  • Pub date: 6 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409041399
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

About the Author

Peter Doggett

Peter Doggett has been writing about popular music and social and cultural history for more than thirty years. His books include the acclaimed There's a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars and the Rise and Fall of '60's Counter-culture and The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s.

Also by Peter Doggett

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Praise for The Man Who Sold The World

“What he has delivered here is an astonishing and absorbing work that expertly unpicks this explosively creative time in Bowie's life... Ultimately, Doggett's insight and enthusiasm should send you back to the music. If you do so the book will ensure you experience something entirely new”

Rob Fitzpatrick, Sunday Times

“A meticulous and engaging insight into the golden years of one of pop's true innovators”

Mark Radcliffe

“A book of substance that compels you to listen to Bowie's best-known songs afresh and his less obvious songs anew”

Patrick McNamee, Time Out

“This book tracks Bowie's ever-changing masks and alter egos...[and] helps answer the question that most Bowie fans have asked at one time or another: what the hell is he on about?”

Kevin Courtney, Irish Times

“A forensic examination of his most prolific period... Doggett exhaustively chases Bowie's inspirations and intentions as he morphs from the gender-bending glam rock Ziggy Stardust to the plastic soul-spinning Thin White Duke”

Bernard McNulty, Telegraph

“His potted history of Bowie's early years is an exemplary introduction to a star in the making and he's excellent at placing the sexuality-stretching Bowie within the context of a decade struggling to find identity at the fag-end of the free-loving 1960's”

Keith Watson, Metro

“Peter Doggett's insightful homage to Ziggy and Bowie's life”


“This is a book, which can be dipped into as a fine song-by-song guide, but even more so, as an excellent cultural history”


“Song-by-song analysis of "the artist rather than the celebrity"”

Liz Thompson, Independent, Music Book of the Year Choice

“Part historical commentary, part fanboy's breakdown of every Bowie song from the era”

Will Hodgkinson, The Times

“Doggett skilfully maps Bowie's exponential growth from directionless hippie also-ran, through pansexual, drug-gobbling alien rock monster, to the most timeless, revered and influential of global pop icons”

Rob Fitzpatrick, Sunday Times

“A song-by-song analysis of the profoundly influential star at the peak of his creativity”

David Connett, Sunday Express

“Intelligent and readable study”

Financial Times

“For a forensic analysis of the songs that helped forge his many myths, The Man Who Sold the World is an impressive, exhaustive account”

Philip Makatrewicz, Times Literary Supplement

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