From acclaimed literary biographer of Kurt Vonnegut and Harper Lee comes the life story of a song, one of the most iconic ever written: John Lennon’s “Imagine”. "Twenty-two lines of graceful, plain-spoken faith in the power of a world to repair and change itself," said Rolling Stone. Only 183 seconds long, the simple melody and poetry captured the wounded hopefulness of its moment—and transcended its time to inspire generations that followed. Charles J. Shields traces the song’s origins—from the fire-bombing of Tokyo during Yoko Ono’s youth to the violent death of Lennon’s mother during his adolescence, from Lennon’s post-Ed Sullivan skepticism to John and Yoko’s Bed-Ins of 1969—and unearths the secrets of its lasting import. If music can change the world, “Imagine” came as close as any song might. This is its story.