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Leonard Bernstein – The Political Life of an American Musician - California Scholarship Online
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Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician

Barry Seldes


From his dazzling conducting debut in 1943 until his death in 1990, Leonard Bernstein's star blazed brilliantly. This biography of Bernstein's political life examines his career against the backdrop of cold war America—blacklisting by the State Department in 1950, voluntary exile from the New York Philharmonic in 1951 for fear that he might be blacklisted, signing a humiliating affidavit to regain his passport—and the factors that by the mid-1950s allowed his triumphant return to the New York Philharmonic. The book links Bernstein's great concert-hall and musical-theatrical achievements and hi ... More

Keywords: cold war, Leonard Bernstein, blacklisting, New York Philharmonic, FBI files, American culture, political power

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780520257641
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520257641.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Barry Seldes, author