Synopses & Reviews
Louis Armstrong was the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century and a giant of modern American culture. He knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts, wrote the finest of all jazz autobiographies - without a collaborator - and created collages that have been compared to the art of Romare Bearden. The ranks of his admirers included Johnny Cash, Jackson Pollock and Orson Welles. Offstage he was witty, introspective and unexpectedly complex, a beloved colleague with an explosive temper whose larger-than-life personality was tougher and more sharp-edged than his worshipping fans ever knew.
Wall Street Journal arts columnist Terry Teachout has drawn on a cache of important new sources unavailable to previous Armstrong biographers, including hundreds of private recordings of backstage and after-hours conversations that Armstrong made throughout the second half of his life, to craft a sweeping new narrative biography of this towering figure that shares full, accurate versions of such storied events as Armstrong's decision to break up his big band and his quarrel with President Eisenhower for the first time. Certain to be the definitive word on Armstrong for our generation, Pops paints a gripping portrait of the man, his world and his music that will stand alongside Gary Giddins' Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams and Peter Guralnick's Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley as a classic biography of a major American musician.
"Ultimately, Teachout's fine biography shows how much of Armstrong's love of music--and people--was behind that signature million-watt smile." -- Booklist
and#160; "Teachout's portrait reminds us why we fell in love with Armstrong's music in the first place." --Publishers Weekly
and#160; "A comprehensive, affectionate biography of arguably the single most important figure in the history of jazz...A rewarding jazz biography and a revealing look at a broad swath of American cultural history." --Kirkus Reviews
and#160; "Best of all, it smartly--and simply--finds unity in contradiction." --Atlantic Monthly
and#160; "Teachout delivers a taut and well-paced work that is astute in its critical judgments and gripping in its chronicle of the trumpeter's life and times." --The Weekly Standard
"...terrific biography..." --The Sunday Times (UK)
"With 'Pops,' his eloquent and important new biography of Armstrong, the critic and cultural historian Terry Teachout restores this jazzman to his deserved place in the pantheon of American artists..." --The New York Times "With prodigious research and a good deal of stylistic grace, the cultural critic has produced a biography as definitive as it is incolclusive about the sources of Armstrong's artistic genius and contradictory personality." --The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"...the most comprehensive and pleasurable account yet of the trumpeter's complex life and personality. Teachout's vivid and accessible portrayal of Armstrong is one of the book's great pleasures: He will make a fan of the most skeptical reader." --Kansas City Star
"...compelling..." --The Los Angeles Times and#160; "Teachout adopts a sophisticated street-level style that mirrors what he loves best about the man known as Satchmo: Armstrong's ability (and willingness) to synthesize high and low culture for an audience as broad as his grin." --Time Out New York
"...a masterpiece." --Seattle Times
"Teachout excels at conveying the interplay between Armstrong the artist and Armstrong the entertainer, and at examining the particular challenge of his legacy." --The New Yorker
"Ultimately, Teachout's fine biography shows how much of Armstrong's love of music--and people--was behind that signature million-watt smile."
"Teachout's portrait reminds us why we fell in love with Armstrong's music in the first place."
"A comprehensive, affectionate biography of arguably the single most important figure in the history of jazz...A rewarding jazz biography and a revealing look at a broad swath of American cultural history."
Louis Armstrong is widely known as the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century.and#160;He was aand#160;phenomenally gifted and imaginative artist, and an entertainer so irresistibly magnetic that he knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts four decades after he cut his first record. Offstage he was witty, introspective, and unexpectedly complex, a beloved colleague with an explosive temper whose larger-than-life personality was tougher and more sharp-edged than his worshiping fans ever knew.
Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout has drawn on a cache of important new sources unavailable to previous biographers, including hundreds of candid after-hours recordings made by Armstrong himself, to craft a sweeping new narrative biography. Certain to be the definitive word on Armstrong for our generation, Pops paints a gripping portrait of the man, his world, and his music that will stand alongside Gary Giddinsand#8217;sand#160;Bing Crosby and Peter Guralnickand#8217;s Last Train to Memphis as a classic biography of a major American musician.
"Wall Street Journal" critic Teachout draws on a cache of important new sources unavailable to previous biographers, including hundreds of candid after-hours recordings made by Louis Armstrong himself, to craft a sweeping new narrative biography.
Teachout draws on a cache of sources unavailable to previous Louis Armstrong biographers to craft a sweeping new narrative biography of the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century.
The authoritative and endlesslyand#160;revealing biography of renowned dancer, choreographer, screenwriter, and director Bob Fosse, written by a bestselling pop culture historian.
andldquo;Wasson is a smart and savvy reporter, and his book abounds with colorful firsthand tales.andrdquo; andmdash; Janet Maslin, New York Times
andldquo;Fascinating . . . Wasson has taken complete control of his subject.andrdquo; andmdash; Wall Street Journal
The only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year, Bob Fosse revolutionized nearly every facet of American entertainment. His signature style would influence generations of performing artists. Yet in spite of Fosseandrsquo;s innumerableandmdash;including Cabaret, Pippin, All That Jazz, and Chicago, one of the longest-running Broadway musicals everandmdash;his offstage life was shadowed by deep wounds and insatiable appetites.
To craft this richly detailed account, best-selling author Sam Wasson has drawn on a wealth of unpublished material and hundreds of sources: friends, enemies, lovers, and collaborators, many of them speaking publicly about Fosse for the first time. With propulsive energy and stylish prose, Fosse is the definitive biography of one of Broadway and Hollywoodandrsquo;s most complex and dynamic icons.
andldquo;Spellbinding.andrdquo; andmdash;Entertainment Weekly
andldquo;Impeccably researched.andrdquo; andmdash;Vanity Fair
An NPR Best Book of the Year
One of America's most admired and decorated singers tells her inspiring life story, from theand#160;segregated south to the world's greatest stages.and#160;
andldquo;Norman offers a broad and global perspective on life, the arts, and spirituality . . . Inspiring.andrdquo; andndash; Booklist
In Stand Up Straight and Sing!, Jessye Norman recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers. She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts. And she describes coming face-to-face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South but also as an adult out and about in the world.
She speaks of the many who have inspired her and taught her essential life lessons. A special interlude on her key relationship with the pioneering African American singer Marian Anderson reveals the lifelong support that this great predecessor provided through her example of dignity and grace at all times.
About the Author
SAM WASSONandnbsp;is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M .: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Womanandnbsp;and twoandnbsp;works of film criticism.andnbsp;Heandnbsp;is a visiting professor of film at Wesleyan University.andnbsp;