Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream

Singer and songwriter Neil Young reflects upon his personal and professional life, from his childhood in Canada up to the present day. Neil Young is the legendary singer/songwriter who grew up in Omemee, Canada and went on to become the iconic performer he is to this day. He does not write his story in a linear fashion, but rather goes back and forth between his early life, present day, and whatever he deems important to include in this story of his career and family life. Neil writes of his obsessions: Lionel train sets and old automobiles he collects. He also heavily promotes his new form of delivering music that is much more clarified than the current mode of MP3 players. He calls this format PureTone. Neil also tells readers of his childhood bout with polio, his diagnosis of epilepsy as a young adult living in the United States illegally, and his back problems and subsequent surgery. Neil married actress Carrie Snodgress and had his son, Zeke, who was initially diagnosed with cerebral palsy but later found to have had a stroke in utero, requiring him to wear a heavy leg brace. His second and present marriage is to Peg Morton, the love of his life. Their son, Ben, is born with cerebral palsy and cannot walk or speak.   Neil speaks, throughout his book, of the many fellow musicians and technicians he has worked with and thanks them all. Many have passed away and Neil is sorry for all of the losses he has endured through the years. During the writing of this book, Neil states that he has stopped smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol for the first time in many years and is writing the book "straight". He writes very fondly of his Broken Arrow Ranch in California and his home in Hawaii. Parts of his book talk about his time with Crosby, Stills and Nash, especially his relationship with Stephen Stills, with whom he played in the group Buffalo Springfield. His story ends with him driving one of his favorite old cars and listening to an old Crystals' song and recalling a dream he's had of his son, Ben, walking and talking.
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Best part of story, including ending: I liked this story very much because it is obviously written by Neil Young, himself, and has moments of humor and sadness.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene in this book is when Neil is describing his first time crossing the Canadian border into the United States. He and some friends get across the border by telling officials that they just want to drive on the better American roads for a few miles and then make their way back into Canada.

Opinion about the main character: I liked Neil Young's ability to be himself and to stand up for what he thinks is the right thing to do. I also admire his desire to let people experience music the way it should be heard, with true tonal qualities and pure sound.

The review of this Book prepared by Pam Pieroni a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   musician Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Story of entertainer?    -   Singer/Dancer Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   musician Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   Canadian


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch:    -   ranch Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   in awe If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   More 6-10 B&W How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   76%-100% of book

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream

Neil Young Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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