As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin

Front Cover
Da Capo Press, Mar 22, 1996 - Music - 702 pages
3 Reviews
Irving Berlin (18881989) was unable to read or write music and could only play the piano in the key of F-sharp major; yet, for the first half of the twentieth century he was America's most successful and most representative songwriter, composing such hits as "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "Cheek to Cheek," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "White Christmas," "Anything You Can Do," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "God Bless America." As Thousands Cheer, winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, explores with precision and sensitivity Berlin's long, prolific career; his self-doubt and late-blooming misanthropy; and the tyrannical control he exerted over his legacy of song. From his immigrant beginnings through Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood to his reclusive and bitter final years, this definitive biography reveals the man who wrote 1500 songs but could never quash the fear that, for all his success, he wasn't quite good enough.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

As thousands cheer: the life of Irving Berlin

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Irving Berlin has long been recognized as one of this century's greatest popular composers, yet no book until this one has brought to life every level of this complicated man's personality. Bergreen ... Read full review

Review: As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin

User Review  - Kathy - Goodreads

I was more than halfway through the biography of this American icon before I realized what was wrong with it. It wasn't the writing style, which in fact is terrific. It wasn't the depth of the ... Read full review

Contents

Lost Souls
3
Prince and Pauper
14
Tin Pan Alley
30
Reinventing Ragtime
49
Love and Death
71
The Great American Composer?
114
Sergeant Berlin
150
From the Music Box to
174
Hollywood Refuge
340
Minstrel of Peace
368
Minstrel of War
392
PART four
443
Tycoon
473
Irving Likes Ike
498
The Cheering Stops
528
Coda
562

Mackays Millions
209
xiii
235
Ellin
245
Heartbreak House
276
Recovery
312
Chronology
587
Bibliography
601
Index
637
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

Laurence Bergreen is the author of acclaimed biographies of James Agee and Al Capone. A writer for numerous publications, including Esquire, Newsweek, New York Times, and American Film, he lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information