This introductory chapter discusses Leonard Bernstein, the former cultural ambassador of the United States and a composer of several popular musicals and ballets, including West Side Story. This chapter reveals a side to Bernstein that has been largely ignored by the public: his political life. It notes that while many of Bernstein's biographers have concluded that the composer remained apolitical for most of his life, there are archival documents that reveal Bernstein as a politically engaged man.
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