by Nicholas Dawidoff
This book was a great interview based history of major movements/actors in early country. In addition to learning a lot, I now know to be successful in early country, you have to have been raised in a falling down house in the worst part of town. Someone in your family had to be a preacher, someone else a drunk. Someone died tragically, and you had to feel responsible. You probably have to marry early, and then cheat on your spouse as you descend into an alcoholic self-hatred spiral. This is when you become super famous. Then you find Jesus.
Also, Merle Haggard owns stock in Cracker Barrel and will only eat there when on the road. This makes me love the Cracka even more.
It is available for six cents on amazon.