A new book chronicles a mostly forgotten episode in Leonard Cohen’s long career

The Dark Night of Leonard Cohen
Katya Sedgwick
June 2, 2022

…In Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai, journalist Matti Friedman zeroes in on a mostly forgotten chapter of Cohen’s career: his performances for Israeli Defense Forces soldiers fighting in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Like Cohen’s songs, Friedman’s book is an offbeat work. It’s a word-of-mouth treasure likely to be read primarily by ardent Cohen fans and musically inclined Zionists, but it will likely gain in prominence, as it offers vital insight into Cohen’s trajectory as a songwriter and the scope of his work. War always fascinated Cohen. But while some men went to war, he went to rock and roll. In “Tower of Song,” he compared performing with fighting: “Now, I bid you farewell, I don’t know when I’ll be back/They’re movin’ us tomorrow to the tower down the track.” READ MORE

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