Frank Kofsky

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Frank Kofsky (1935–1997) was an American Marxist historian, author, and Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento, from 1969 until his death. A musician himself, Kofsky also wrote several books on jazz, mainly concentrating on the avant-garde of the 1960s and the relationship between musicians and the industry on which they depend.


  • Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation (1993: Palgrave Macmillan, 1995). ISBN 978-0-312-12329-1
  • Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music (1971); expanded and revised as John Coltrane and the Jazz Revolution of the 1960s (Pathfinder Press, 1998). ISBN 978-0-87348-857-0
  • Black Music, White Business: Illuminating the History and Political Economy of Jazz (Pathfinder Press, 1998). ISBN 978-0-87348-859-4
  • Lenny Bruce: The Comedian as Social Critic and Secular Moralist (Anchor Foundation, 1974). ISBN 978-0-913460-32-0

In the liner notes for the Impulse release of John Coltrane's "John Coltrane Plays" Kofsky give an extremely succinct analysis on the transition from the swing era to bebop and from bebop to the avant garde