Born to Run

“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages ofBorn to Run

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.
Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut onThe Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.
Born to Runwill be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.
Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.


  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (September 27, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1501141511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501141515
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (428 customer reviews)
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4 thoughts on “Born to Run”

  1. If you have ever actually listened to the lyrics of most Springsteen songs (except maybe Waitin’ on a Sunny Day), you know that Bruce Springsteen is a really deep guy. There was a book published 15 years ago called Songs, which contained all the lyrics of every Springsteen song written to that time. I loved that book. I read it cover to cover, several times. You could read and contemplate all his lyrics. Born to Run helps explain the factors that helped Bruce’s amazing catalog of music come into creation.

    Bruce’s autobiography, Born to Run, gives his fans tremendous insight into what it was that has driven Bruce over the course of his life and career. The motivations, the demons, the anxiety, the joys, the fears, the hopes, the dreams, all the elements that have constituted the Boss’s muse over these past 50 years are explained here. And not only is Bruce one of the great writers of lyrics and music, he is a great writer of prose. He amply demonstrates this here for all the world to see. He shares his story in a way only he could.

    If you intend to purchase and read this book, I will tell you it is a real page turner. I could not put this book down. It has a somewhat imposing profile at 528 pages, but it is an easy read. An inspiring read. I do not want to reveal any of the revelations the reader will discover within the pages of this book, but I can say it was interesting to learn that Bruce possesses many of the same insecurities of us mere mortals.

    Bruce discloses, in great detail, particulars of his early years, his upbringing, the issues that influenced the way he thinks, his musically formative years, his wide held acclaim, his family, his doubts, his fears, and a treasure trove of personal details I have never heard before.Read more ›

  2. Bruce Springsteen’s memoir is perhaps the literary equivalent of his four hour concerts. Springsteen’s book ranges from his earliest memories to his current inspiration. I am humbled at the craft and honesty in this book. His life story is shaped and nuanced for sure, but it still is stunningly compelling. Springsteen delves into his musical history in quite some depth. His early bands – the Castiles and Steel Mill helped the young Springsteen grow into the leader of the E Street Band. Stories from the road abound. Freehold, Asbury Park, New York City, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Memphis, and even Big Sur’s Esalen make an appearance. Springsteen also dives into the thoughts behind his most important albums. The tension between the spontaneous nature of his live shows and the crafting of his music into recordings is palpable in the pages of “Born to Run”. Springsteen also opens old wounds to shine a light on his family’s history of mental illness and his own struggles with depression. This is an important American story that is not to be missed.

    Beg , borrow, or steal this book!

  3. Bruce Springsteen’s “autobiography” is a masterpiece of that genre. It is just that: his life story from his vantage point. The book could have used some good editing (many redundant stories; garbled chronology about events in different chapters; too much rambling didactic stuff, which is not Bruce’s strength, as he is a genuine poet and poetry is about being concise.) But, his voice comes through loud and clear; that’s Bruce.
    Yes, he’s political in praising most people in his life. But, ironically, since Bruce always said when he was young and famous in his twenties: “know the art; not the artist,” he lets us “know” the artist and his demons. To his everlasting credit, he is frank about his own and his father’s psychiatric problems (depression and some organic paranoia in his father.) That is a sine qua non of Bruce’s psyche and his poetry (he is, in my view, a poet who has terrific musical and showmanship skills.) Believe me, there was a great gorge between his stage personality and his “real” personality for a real long time, maybe still. But, he now seems more comfortable in his “American skin.”
    Bruce is also frank about his own large ego (essential for what he’s accomplished); his autocratic personality vis a vis the E Street Band; and his extremely focused life, at least pre-wife Patti and the kids. He also adores his supportive mother and her contributions to his success; no shame in that. Yes, he leaves out some private stuff (failed romances, etc.) but he includes a boatload of things most people aren’t comfortable talking about: his first marriage; his depression/anxiety; his long, 25-year journey of psychoanalysis; his conflicts with his band members. So, he’s entitled to leave some stuff out.Read more ›

  4. I bought this book after seeing Bruce Springsteen on the Stephen Colbert Show. It arrived yesterday, I took the box into my kitchen, opened it up and began reading the forward, then the first chapter, then the second chapter still standing in my kitchen with my car keys in my hand. It’s a pretty big book about 500 pages. I’ll finish it this weekend in 2 or 3 sittings. It’s an easy read. I read a lot of autobiographies, this is clearly one of, if not the best one I’ve read so far. Get it, read it, love it!

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