For Woody’s Birthday, A New Book About “1913 Massacre”

Just in time for Woody’s birthday — he’d be 105 years old today — a new book about 1913 Massacre by Daniel Wolff: Grown up Anger.

Wolff’s book explores the deep personal, cultural and historical connections between Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, following a trail that leads from Dylan’s “Song to Woody” through “1913 Massacre” to Christmas Eve, 1913 in Calumet, Michigan.

This is a dimension of the 1913 Massacre story we explored in making the film, but which — for all sorts of reasons — never made it into the film. In our editing system, there’s still an unfinished scene, cut from 1960s protest footage, with “Song to Woody” as the music bed. There’s some consolation in the fact that the scene that we never realized in our film has now gotten the book-length treatment it warrants.

The book is close not only in subject but also in spirit to our film: Patti Smith says Wolff manages to “raise the ghosts of greed and misery. Through memory, music, and a clear insight into the emotional process of protest, Wolff reminds us of how it did, and how it does, ultimately feel.”

Put Daniel Wolff’s Grown Up Anger on your reading list. Check it out.

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