Skip to main content

All Shook UpCARSON HOLLOWAY, Spence Publishing Company, 212 Pages, Hardcover, $27.95

All Shook Up: Music, Passion, and Politics is a decidedly scholarly book and is neither particularly Christian nor Biblical; for example, it includes no Scripture quotations, and it does not address the subject of Christians, or the church and music. Yet many Christians, disturbed by music in today’s culture, would identify with the author’s concerns:

Pop music raises serious concerns about the ultimate public and cultural question: What kind of a people are we to be?. . . The critics [of pop music] go so far as to worry that this music threatens the very survival of our civilization.

The author presents the views that Plato, early modernists, Aristotle, Rousseau, Nietzsche, and others asserted concerning music. The author explains this presentation:

The controversy over music’s social significance has given rise to intensely felt political passions. The participants are divided into two hostile camps, each perceiving that dearly held interests and principles depend on winning the argument. Such a situation is not conducive to an impartial consideration of the issues. Hence, we are more likely to gain an enlightened appreciation for the true merits of the arguments advanced by turning for instruction to those who, by their very distance in time from the prevailing controversy, have no stake in the conflict. Simply put, if we want to come nearer the truth about these issues, we need to turn to the partisans of the truth about politics, [that is] the political philosophers.

The author concludes that society needs a return to reason. He ends the book by stating,

Our embrace of the ancient solution would require a radical transformation in our understanding of what we are, what the universe is, and how we are related to it. The necessity of such a transformation is clear. Whether we are capable of it, or even willing to try, remains to be seen.

—Jonita Barram, Reviewer

Leave a Reply