Cover image for George Gershwin : a new biography
George Gershwin : a new biography
Hyland, William G. (William George), 1929-2008.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 279 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.G288 H95 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
ML410.G288 H95 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



The Right Thing to Do: Basic Readings in Moral Philosophy is the engaging companion reader to James Rachels and Stuart Rachels' best-selling text, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (0-07-803824-3). It offers readable, well-argued essays on compelling issues that students are familiar with and can understand. This collection can also stand on its own as the text for a course in moral philosophy, or it can be used to supplement any introductory text.

Author Notes

William G. Hyland served a long career with the United States Government -- at the White House, the State Department, and the NSC -- and was Editor of Foreign Affairs Quarterly for ten years

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In this in-depth, well-researched biography, Hyland ( Richard Rodgers0 1998) explores Gershwin's complex personality and his pioneering music. He begins with chapters on the legendary composer's youth ("He was, frankly, a bad child who might have become a gangster"), his early days as a song plugger, his musical influences, and his composing and performing of Rhapsody in Blue0 (first performed by Paul Whiteman's orchestra with Gershwin as the solo pianist in 1924 in New York's Aeolian Hall). Hyland provides fresh insights on how Gershwin forged a link between jazz and the concert hall, new musical trends on Broadway in the 1920s, the composer's life and work in Hollywood, and his place in the pantheon of American music. The author also writes knowledgeably about such famous Gershwin shows as Lady Be Good; Tip Toes; Oh, Kay; Strike up the Band0 ; and Funny Face0 , among others, and the opera Porgy and Bess0 . Hyland explains how Gershwin became the first composer to apply popular music to classical forms and how his compositions reflected the restlessness of our country during the Jazz Age. With 14 pages of black-and-white photographs, this is a scrupulous portrait of a musical genius. --George Cohen Copyright 2003 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Previously, Gershwin biographers have been either hagiographic (e.g., David Ewen's Journey to Greatness: The Life and Music of George Gershwin) or unflattering (e.g., Joan Peyser's The Memory of All That). Hyland (Richard Rodgers) takes the middle of the road, and the Gershwin who emerges is both more complicated and more fascinating. Drawing on research from the Gershwin Collection at the Library of Congress, the author excels at examining issues such as his subject's teachers and exactly how much (or little) formal instruction he received. Hyland evenhandedly assesses areas of controversy: Gershwin's personality (was he sweet-tempered or conceited and pushy?), his relations with women (he never married), his status as composer of concert music (disputing unfounded accusations that he did not orchestrate his concert music after Rhapsody in Blue), and his relationship to African American composers and their music. In addition, Hyland compares the composer with contemporaries Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, and Leonard Bernstein. This fresh and well-researched biography of one of America's great composers is highly recommended for all libraries.-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ., Kingsville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Having written a biography of one Broadway composer, Richard Rodgers (CH, Jan'99), Hyland now treats another, one whose contributions went beyond the musical theater to the concert hall. Works about Gershwin abound; recent similar volumes include Edward Jablonski's Gershwin (CH, Mar'88) and Joan Peyser's The Memory of All That (CH, Oct'93). This book lacks the comprehensive scope of Jablonski's and the soap opera dramatics of Peyser's, but Hyland brings the scholar's approach. His documentation is superb, and he probes and assesses his sources, attempting to determine what actually happened: for example, the conflicting accounts of Gershwin's final illness. Hyland furnishes details of the life--personal and professional--and does a good job placing Gershwin's achievements in the context of his time. In the last two excellent chapters he describes how Gershwin's memory has been preserved (essentially a bibliographical essay) and examines his place in American music, with comparisons to Copland, Ellington, and Bernstein. A group of photographs (not as good as in Jablonski or Peyser) and an excellent bibliography complete the work. ^BSumming Up: Optional. For comprehensive collections serving upper-division undergraduates through faculty. R. D. Johnson emeritus, SUNY College at Oneonta

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1. Youthp. 1
2. Song Pluggingp. 13
3. Musical Influencesp. 37
4. Rhapsody in Bluep. 53
5. Jazzp. 67
6. Broadwayp. 77
7. Oh, Kay!p. 99
8. An American in Parisp. 123
9. Of Thee I Singp. 139
10. Porgy and Bessp. 155
11. Hollywoodp. 185
12. Personalityp. 209
13. Keeping the Flamep. 225
14. American Musicp. 241
Selected Bibliographyp. 257
Indexp. 263