The year 1917 was unlike any other in American history, or in the history of American music. The United States entered World War I, jazz burst onto the national scene, and the German musicians who dominated classical music were forced from the stage.
Lives up to its title with delicious irony ... History, when done well, should look backward and forward at the same time. Bomberger’s Making Music American: 1917 and the Transformation of Culture is a rich look at a pivotal moment in American political and musical history ... The study’s interwoven narratives of musical lives encourage viewing America’s present cultural landscape with one eye to how we got here and the other eye to what might come next, all the while with engaging stories of some of the artists who contributed most to shaping culture in America and around the world.
The author claims that the musicians he follows 'actively changed the musical hierarchy of the time,' but, interesting as they are, that claim seems overblown ... Not entirely convincing but marked by thorough research and a lively narrative.