Positively 4th Street The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña

David Hajdu




Trade Paperback

352 Pages



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The story of how four young bohemians on the make—Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez, and Richard Farina—converged in Greenwich Village, fell into love, and invented a sound and a style that are one of the most lasting legacies of the 1960's.

In Positively Fourth Street, David Hajdu tells the story of the emergence of folk music from cult practice to popular and enduring art form as the story of a colorful foursome: not only Dylan but his part-time lover Joan Baez—the first voice of the new generation; her sister Mimi—beautiful, haunted, and an artist in her own right; and her husband Richard Farina, a comic novelist (Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me) who invented the bohemian persona that Dylan adopted—some say stole—and made as his own.


Praise for Positively 4th Street

“A hauntingly evocative blend of biography, musicology, and pop culture history.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“In a teetering stack of Dylan biographies and commentaries, [this is] the one new publication of distinction and clarity.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker

“This ambitious four-headed biographical narrative . . . vividly re-creates the folk era.”—Terrence Rafferty, GQ

Reviews from Goodreads



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IN THE WINTER OF 1949, when Joan and Mimi Baez were little girls, their aunt Tia moved in with them. She came through the chimney and brought music and ice cream in her carpetbag, or it seemed that way to them at the time.

Joan, who was eight, and Mimi, who was four, shared a bedroom on the second floor of the Baez family’s clapboard house in Menlo Park, California, near Stanford University, where their father, Dr. Albert Baez, thirty-seven, worked in a cold war program to teach physics to military engineers in training. Their older sister, Pauline,

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  • David Hajdu

  • David Hajdu's first book, Lush Life, won the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and is being adapted for a feature film. Hajdu lives in New York City and writes for The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New York Review of Books.
  • David Hajdu Copyright Michelle Heimerman


    David Hajdu

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