Books: The Postman Rings Forever

NO DIRECTION HOME by Robert Shelton; Morrow; 573 pages; $17.95

He had never heard of the visitor who stood on the porch of his North Carolina farm, but Carl Sandburg could sure spot a comer. "You look like you are ready for anything," the old poet said. "I would like to ask you about 40 good questions."

By the time of that brief pilgrimage in 1964, Bob Dylan, younger than Sandburg by more than a half-century, had already made three record albums, answered about 40,000 questions from a growing legion of fans and skeptical press, and was reinventing American music. "You certainly look like an intense young man," Sandburg observed, a...

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