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Horowitz's sophisticated case studies explore a tension in the art of 20th-century performers who emigrated from Europe or Russia: they both stayed foreign and became American. A one-time executive director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Horowitz (Classical Music in America) extends his domain beyond music into other performing arts, examining key exemplars in each discipline such as Igor Stravinsky in music composition, George Balanchine in ballet, and Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg in Hollywood. His understanding of the political nuances of immigrants' artistic work, influenced by the circumstances in which they fled their native countries, is fascinating. Yet Horowitz emphasizes the Americanization of the artworks at the expense of their European roots. Based on what Horowitz admits is a highly select group of artists, he often poses broad questions and makes bold, generalized statements, such as trivializing the plight of the immigrant artist in contemporary American society: the tensions of forced migration—of exile and nostalgia—have abated. Still, what Horowitz lacks in balance he more than makes up for in emotion, and in expounding on the political resonance of the immigrants' art, he composes an enlightening, informative read. 31 b&w photos. (Feb.)
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“Heroically researched . . . chock-full of fascinating vignettes, stunning quotations, and shrewd insights on the fly.” (New York Times)
A masterful study of how the Russian Revolution, the rise of European fascism and the second world war all transformed the American performing arts (The Economist)
A persuasive examination of the most compelling of twentieth centurycultural phenomena, how refugees from all across Europe, running the gamutfrom George Balanchine to Billy Wilder, revolutionized American artisticlife. Erudite, incisive, inconoclastic, as readable as it is comprehensive,this is just the kind of treatment the participants themselves would haverelished. (Kenneth Turan, film critic, Los Angeles Times)
“A rich assembly, an unmasked ball teeming with famous names. . . . Horowitz can make judgements boldly, out of deep knowledge. . . . The way Horowtiz raves learnedly...should send any reader diving into Amazon.” (Times Literary Supplement (London))