Cover image for The life and times of Irving Berlin
The life and times of Irving Berlin
Whiting, Jim, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hockessin, Del. : Mitchell Lane Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
48 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 25 cm.
A biography of the Russian immigrant who came to America as a boy and became one of the most successful composers of popular songs, including "White Christmas" and "God Bless America."
The song that united the United States -- Coming to the New World -- First successes -- Making it big -- White Christmas -- Out of fashion.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3930.B446 W45 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
ML3930.B446 W45 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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When he was just 13 years old, a young Russian immigrant named Izzy Baline left his New York City home and had to support himself. It was a struggle for several years, as he sang for pennies and often slept in flophouses or on park benches. Soon after changing his name to Irving Berlin and writing a series of hit songs, he became rich beyond his wildest imagination. For several decades, he was the most successful composer of American pop music. He wrote "White Christmas," which broke sales records for years. Starting in the mid-1950s with the rise of Elvis Presley and rock and roll music, Berlin eventually lost nearly all of his popularity. Yet in the aftermath of the horrible events of September 11, 2001, the citizens of this nation needed a certain type of music to remind them what a great country this is. Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" supplied that need. Book jacket.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-These informative series entries provide the basic facts about their subjects, from childhood through death. Each composer's life is presented in a straightforward manner; topics such as Foster's father's alcoholism and blackface minstrel shows are handled with finesse. "FYI" pages, which examine such topics as "Pogroms" and "The Roaring Twenties" (Berlin), and "River Boats" and "Harriet Beecher Stowe" (Foster), are interspersed throughout. Clear photographs and reproductions in black and white and color enhance the texts. Readers will enjoy hearing the stories behind such familiar songs as "White Christmas," "God Bless America," and "Oh! Susanna." Numerous interesting facts and the inclusion of pertinent events from each era make for lively reading. For assignments, casual browsing, or required reading, these slim volumes neatly fill the bill.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Song That United the United Statesp. 7
FYInfo: Pogromsp. 13
Chapter 2 Coming to the New Worldp. 15
FYInfo: Moviesp. 19
Chapter 3 First Successesp. 21
FYInfo: The Roaring Twentiesp. 27
Chapter 4 Making It Bigp. 29
FYInfo: Bing Crosbyp. 35
Chapter 5 "White Christmas"p. 37
FYInfo: Winston Churchillp. 41
Chapter 6 Out of Fashionp. 43
Selected Worksp. 46
Chronologyp. 46
Timeline in Historyp. 47
Further Readingp. 47
Works Consultedp. 47
Indexp. 48