By Raymond Fiore
Updated June 25, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Mining the same contentious plotlines captured in 2002’s compelling documentary ”I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” rock critic Kot wisely centers his history of the experimental indie band on its most substantive and convulsive character: talented, temperamental frontman Jeff Tweedy. He traces Tweedy from his days pioneering alt-country with Uncle Tupelo to the 2002 flap over Wilco’s critically acclaimed ”Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (dropped by Warner Bros.’ Reprise, later a hit for sister label Nonesuch). Though the book could benefit from a bit more prodding of Tweedy’s interpersonal dysfunction and intimate relationships (his wife is a minor presence), he emerges as a likable antihero — a ”quintessential ‘difficult’ artist” who uncompromisingly follows his muse, band members and record labels be damned.