Since the 1960s, the Grateful Dead have welcomed and participated in academic work, encouraging scrutiny from a wide variety of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives from anthropology to sociology. There remains a growing interest in Dead studies across the country and around the world, as UC Santa Cruz's Grateful Dead Archive continues to attract high-level interest.
In Reading the Grateful Dead: A Critical Survey, Nicholas G. Meriwether has assembled a collection of essays that examine the development of Grateful Dead studies. This volume includes work from three generations of scholars and includes a wide variety of perspectives on the band and its cultural significance. From insiders like lyricist John Perry Barlow and longtime band publicist and historian Dennis McNally to well-known Deadhead scholars like Barry Barnes and Rebecca Adams, the contributors in this volume offer valuable insights into the Grateful Dead phenomenon.
No other Dead book out there focuses on the growth and development of the discourse. No other book carries the range of critical approaches or combines them in a coherent and cohesive way. And no other book has the weight of these contributors—substantive efforts by luminaries like Stan Krippner, Barry Barnes, and others. Organized into four sections, each describes an aspect or approach to Dead studies, along with an overview of the nature and extent of Dead studies—how it has evolved and what it comprises today. With a mix of disciplinary perspectives and primary essays, this book will appeal to scholars, students, and teachers looking for information on Dead studies.