Explorations of the Beatles’ legacy have long been here, there, and everywhere. And yet, with a little help from their friends, Virginia Tech history students have managed to compile fresh analyses of the iconic band’s long and winding road in a new book, Welcome to the Beatles.

The students collaborated on the book as part of an advanced class taught by Robert Stephens, an associate professor of history.

“The future of higher education is giving more ownership to our students,” Stephens said. “This project allowed them to write, edit, and publish their own book and put it out into the world for readers to learn from and enjoy. It’s the quintessential hands-on, minds-on project, and I applaud the students for the excellent volume they completed.”

Welcome to the Beatles explores the band’s enduring significance, with emphasis on media, race relations, gender, and globalization.

“Over the years, the Beatles have been analyzed exhaustively from nearly every angle, but these students bring their own perspective,” Stephens said. “Having come of age generations after the Beatles’ heyday, the authors were able to reexamine the band with the benefit of historical distance.”

The publication is now freely accessible online as an electronic book through VT Publishing—the scholarly publishing arm of Virginia Tech—and available for purchase as a print book through Amazon.

“I was passionate about this project because it enabled our class to practice so many real-world skills,” said Andrew Pregnall, lead editor of the project and a senior pursuing a dual degree in microbiology and history. “All of these experiences could be useful in someone’s future, regardless of career path.”