The Monk’s Record Player

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Thomas Merton, Bob Dylan, and the Perilous Summer of 1966  by Robert Hudson

£18.99 Delivered to the UK (Select your delivery destination above)

Available early June

The story of a monk, a minstrel, and the music that brought them together. In 1965 Thomas Merton fulfilled a twenty-four-year-old dream and went to live as a hermit beyond the walls of his Trappist monastery. Seven months later, after a secret romance with a woman half his age, he was in danger of losing it all. Yet on the very day that his abbot uncovered the affair, Merton found solace in an unlikely place – the songs of Bob Dylan, who, as fate would have it, was experiencing his own personal and creative crises during the summer of 1966.

In this parallel biography of two countercultural icons, Robert Hudson plumbs the depths of Dylan’s influence on Merton’s life and poetry, recounts each man’s interactions with the woman who linked them together – Joan Baez – and shows how each transcended his immediate troubles and went on to new heights of spiritual and artistic genius. Readers will discover in this compelling book a story of creativity and crisis, burnout and redemption, in the tumultuous era of 1960s America.


Robert Hudson is a recognised Bob Dylan scholar, a member of the International Thomas Merton Society, and a veteran editor who has worked with a number of best-selling authors, including Philip Yancey, Walter Wangerin Jr, Leonard Sweet, and Lee Strobel.

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