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Out in the Union

Out in the Union
A Labor History of Queer America

Miriam Frank

Reviewed in the January/February 2015 issue of Against the Current. The review read, "By recounting this history of U.S. queer labor organizing from the 1960s to the present, Frank is uncovering a largely unknown history, in the process helping to fill a large gap in both U.S. labor and queer history.... Out in the Union places queer history within the broader context of labor history of the United States, helping to foster a greater understanding of the interplay between larger developments in the labor movement and queer labor activism. Above all else, Miriam Frank's examination is a history of queer labor activism that tells this history from the perspective of queer workers at the grassroots.... Out in the Union deserves a wide readership by activists in the labor movement, both straight and LGBT. It is a major contribution to both the fields of queer history and labor history. For the first time, a broad history of queer activism within the U.S. labor movement has been published, asserting that queer people work to make a living too, and have fought hard to combat discrimination both at work and in their unions."

Just Queer Folks

Just Queer Folks
Gender and Sexuality in Rural America

Colin R. Johnson

Reviewed in Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 2014. The review read, "Johnson draws from the early twentieth century to amass the impressive archive of country queerness that challenges both the political Right's and the mainstream gay and lesbian community's image of American rurality.... It is his ability to read the expanse of rural America that makes Johnson's book an extraordinary contribution to what he recognizes as the 'rural turn' in queer studies over the last decade.... One of Johnson's most astute contributions to the rural turn is his ability to explain the difficulty for scholars to breach the rural-urban divide.... Johnson's book is an accomplishment of seeing beyond established boundaries of queer studies, to the queer folks who have established lives 'out there,' in the unknowns of rural America."

The Outsider

The Outsider
Albert M. Greenfield and the Fall of the Protestant Establishment

Dan Rottenberg

Reviewed in the January 4 issue of Ticket, a supplement to the Main Line Times. The review read, "History buffs will enjoy a fascinating biography of Albert M. Greenfield, a real estate tycoon whose long career helped shaped Philadelphia in the 20th Century.... In this engaging and thoroughly researched book, Rottenberg brings to life a man who befriended presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson, as well as Pennsylvania politicians of his day. He also forged coalitions between Jews, Catholics and blacks during his long career."

Softly, with Feeling

Softly, with Feeling
Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music

Edward Berger

Reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Choice. The review read, "Berger makes another excellent contribution to jazz literature with this biography of the unsung trumpeter Joe Wilder (1922-2014). Wilder's life was not particularly filled with drama, but this dignified gentleman suffered the expected incidents of racism while coming of age in Philadelphia, in road bands, and in the armed forces during WW II.... Berger describes the racial integration...in detail. He also chronicles Wilder's long recording career, and includes a discography. Summing Up: Recommended."

Also reviewed on Ethan Iverson's influential blog, Do the Math on January 21. The entry read, "Ed Berger does jazz history a special service by getting to know his heroes while working on biographies that end up being unusually definitive.... Berger also makes it crystal clear that playing jazz was just part of Wilder's story. Breaking of Barriers in American Music lives up to its title as Wilder helps integrate the Armed Forces, Broadway, staff orchestras, and symphonic orchestras. I was especially impressed with Berger's research."

The NFL

The NFL
Critical and Cultural Perspectives
edited by Thomas P. Oates and Zack Furness

Reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Choice. The review read, "The National Football League continues to have a significant cultural impact on American life. But how and why has this occurred? This interesting and informative collection of critical essays does an admirable job of answering this question.... This worthwhile volume is enhanced by a comprehensive index. Summing Up: Highly recommended."

The War on Slums in the Southwest

The War on Slums in the Southwest
Public Housing and Slum Clearance in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, 1935-1965

Robert B. Fairbanks

Reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Choice. The review read, "This thoroughly researched regional study of how five southwestern cities—Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Phoenix, and Albuquerque—approached slum clearance and public housing has value for students interested in regionalism, urbanism, and the politics of social welfare.... Fairbanks provides a unique regional perspective useful for undergraduates and specialists alike. Summing Up: Highly recommended."

Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood

Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood
Brooklyn's Sunset Park

Tarry Hum

Reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Choice. The review read, "Hum presents a compelling analysis of contemporary economic and racial dynamics in the primarily Asian and Latino Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. With a long family history in the neighborhood, she brings a community insider's approach to this primarily qualitative study. Throughout the work, the author is also engaged in a broader theoretical project. Rejecting the traditional scholarly conceptualization of immigrant neighborhoods as ghettos or enclaves, Hum attempts to situate neighborhood formations and social and economic change in Sunset Park in an analytical context that takes in the influences of the postindustrial urban economy, the racialization of immigrant populations, and the neoliberal policy environment that has prevailed in New York City in recent decades..... [T]his work will be of strongest interest to undergraduate and graduate students and scholars of Asian American studies, urban studies, and urban planning. Summing Up: Highly Recommended."

The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Concept of the Social in Uniting the Humanities and Social Sciences
Michael E. Brown

Reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Choice. The review read, "The argument advanced in this book is that the social is a fundamental, irreducible given that should be the central object of inquiry in the social sciences and humanities. Brown makes this case in what he surely views as a major corrective to these broad scholarly fields."

Out in the Union

Out in the Union
A Labor History of Queer America

Miriam Frank

Reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Choice. The review read, "Frank conducted over 100 personal interviews across two decades before compiling this well-researched account of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals involved with local, regional, and nationwide labor unions. The author chronicles intersections between LGBT social and political movements, and labor movements, in the US from 1965 to 2013.... Its insightful coverage of variously sized unions and types of work places—discussing both strengths and weaknesses—gives readers a good historical look at the ebb and flow of relationships between 'queer' America and labor movements. Additionally, the book discusses some of the relationship problems at home, as interviewees reflect on their transitions of becoming involved in social or union activism. The thorough notes, bibliography, and index make this a good resource for future researchers on social history, gender studies, labor movements, and LGBT/queer movements. Summing Up: Highly recommended."

Women in Politics in the American City

Women in Politics in the American City
Mirya R. Holman

Reviewed in the January, 2015 issue of Library Journal. The review read, "Holman poses an unusual question on a topic few have studied: Does electing women to municipal office make a difference in policy decisions? The author answers that women mayors and council members bring a neglected perspective to policymaking and support women's issues...more frequently than men in local office.... Holman's research relies on interviews and surveys, and the book is replete with tables and diagrams, copious notes, an extensive bibliography, and several appendixes."

Resisting Work

Resisting Work
The Corporatization of Life and Its Discontents

Peter Fleming

Reviewed online first in Administrative Science Quarterly. The review read, "The core argument of the book is that neoliberalism and managerialism have proved themselves to be unworkable, undermining many of the social supports that they rely on to operate.... firmly grounded in critical and neo-Marxist perspectives, which inform its analysis and central conclusions.... [Its] strength comes from its juxtaposition of debates that usually take place within different communities.... [I]t is thought provoking to reconsider these questions from the perspective of exploitation and class struggle. Some of the most compelling material lies in the analysis of how earlier approaches to management by culture have given way to a system in which workers are encouraged not to conform to corporate culture but rather to bring their whole selves to work in order to better benefit the firm... The book makes many intriguing points... [and] provides a valuable perspective on extremely timely and important issues."

God Talk

God Talk
Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion

Paul A. Djupe and Brian R. Calfano

Reviewed in the Winter 2014 issue of Public Opinion Quarterly. The review read, "God Talk provides a rich account of how religion shapes candidate and policy preferences. Through carefully constructed, executed, and analyzed experiments, the authors provide a more precise explanation of how religion is politically consequential.... God Talk offers one of the most thorough accounts of how religion functions in contemporary American politics, particularly in the context of political communication. The authors describe the bounds of elite influence, and they generate a more psychologically informed description of how religious labels serve as social identities. The book is an important read for those interested in the dynamics of public opinion and attitude change."

Making Modern Love

Making Modern Love
Sexual Narratives and Identities in Interwar Britain

Lisa Z. Sigel

Reviewed in the Winter 2014 issue of the Journal of Social History. The review read, "Lisa Sigel reaffirms the significance of...narrative in the making of sexual identities in interwar Britain.... There is some fascinating material here."

Sex and the Founding Fathers

Sex and the Founding Fathers
The American Quest for a Relatable Past

Thomas A. Foster

Reviewed in American Studies, Vol. 53, No. 4. The review read, "Sex and the Founding Fathers has value as a source of data.... [which] raises important questions about gender, sexuality, and masculinity as normative and actual behaviors shift that over time as they structure personal and national identities."

Atlanta Unbound

Atlanta Unbound
Enabling Sprawl through Policy and Planning

Carlton Wade Basmajian

Reviewed in American Studies, Vol. 53, No. 4. The review read, "Basmajian explores how regional planners engaged with Atlanta and post-World War II expansion.... [He] has masterfully charted the course of the Atlanta Regional Commission.... Threaded with both thoughtful analysis and rambunctious newspaper accounts.... Atlanta Unbound provides a powerful resource for considering an evolving relationship between ideology and material landscapes."

The Archival Turn in Feminism

The Archival Turn in Feminism
Outrage in Order
Kate Eichhorn

Featured in a review essay in the Winter 2015 issue of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. The review read, "The Archival Turn in Feminism is a trenchant engagement with archival research of activist feminist practices during the 1990s and early 2000s.... Eichhorn thoughtfully interrogates feminist archival practice to think about the relationship between the practices of archiving and feminist activism during the past forty years, and she generously encourages readers to do the same.... Eichhorn's chapter on the Riot Grrrl movement is interesting and provocative... [Her] attention to method and her innovative approach, combining ethnography, archival research, and cultural theory, mark The Archival Turn as a productive contribution to conversations about feminist methodologies."

Resisting Work

Resisting Work
The Corporatization of Life and Its Discontents

Peter Fleming

Reviewed in the December 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "[Fleming] argues that work has taken over our lives because we have internalized the need to work and produce at all times.... The book ultimately finds its niche among other works of applied critical theory and analyses of employee engagement, corporate culture, managerialism, capitalism, and meaningful work. Summing Up: Recommended."

Church and State in the City

Church and State in the City
Catholics and Politics in Twentieth-Century San Francisco

William Issel

Reviewed in the December 2014 issue of The Journal of American History read, "In Church and State in the City the venerable historian William Issel provides an in-depth examination of the juxtaposition of Catholic teaching—both social and economic—and the search for a vision of the public interest as it played out in San Francisco's public policy-making debates from the 1890s to the 1970s.... [T]his impressive political history of twentieth-century San Francisco will be fruitful reading for any student interested in urban history in general, or group-based politics in particular."

Also reviewed in the December 2014 issue of The Journal of Church and State read, "William Issel integrates religious, political, and economic history into a largely persuasive interpretation of San Francisco's history that places religion at the center of public life from the twentieth century's earliest years to its final decades.... The work draws deeply from Issel's lifetime study of San Francisco, and the result is an impressively detailed exploration of those whose voices rose to significance in the debates.... Readers...will no doubt appreciate Issel's thorough presentation of the way one religious denomination helped to steer a significant American city as its residents sought to define and work toward the common good."

Savage Portrayals

Savage Portrayals
Race, Media, and the Central Park Jogger Story

Natalie Byfield

Reviewed in the December 1 issue of the journal Social Forces. The review read, "[C]ompelling...Byfield's role as reporter for the Daily News in the late 1980s and early 1990s provides a valuable lens through which to view the inner workings of a major newsroom.... Students and scholars of news media will find Byfield's analysis of the institutionalized relationship between the police and media nothing short of extraordinary."

Softly, with Feeling

Softly, with Feeling
Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music

Edward Berger

Reviewed in the December 2014 issue of Downbeat. The review read, "Edward Berger atones for what he sees as America's failure to fully recognize the trumpeter's talents with a full-scale biography of the kind we don't often get—that of an unfamous person. lt reminds us that fame comes with long odds attached, but that the music profession offers many midlevel tiers in which a great player can sustain a rewarding career for decades without dealing with autograph hounds.... Berger interviewed his subject at great length, permitting Wilder to tell much of his own story. His candidness is refreshing.... ln Berger's account...musicianship and character exist in an intimate symbiosis."

The Archival Turn in Feminism

The Archival Turn in Feminism
Outrage in Order
Kate Eichhorn

Reviewed in the latest issue of Archivaria, The Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists. The review read, "Eichhorn shows how young activists and scholars have come to value [material culture] collections as vital resources for transformative politics.... [She] has also produced an alluring description of archival genres (e.g., commonplace books, blogs) as a way to work through the implications of what is frequently described as the 'archival turn' in the humanities.... Eichhorn's work challenges archivists to assess our own impact on the collections we keep and the extent to which our work should be characterized as activism in the pursuit of social justice."

God Talk

God Talk
Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion

Paul A. Djupe and Brian R. Calfano

The journal Politics and Religion posted an online first review in November, 2014. It read, "Djupe and Calfano make a convincing case that 'God talk' is politically important, and the book is successful in promoting experimental methods in religion and politics research.... The book makes an argument about how theoretical accounts of religion and public life are grounded in methodological and ultimately epistemological choices, and for this reason is an important addition to the subfield."

The White Savior Film

The White Savior Film
Content, Critics, and Consumption

Matthew W. Hughey

Reviewed in the November 26 issue of the journal Social Forces. The review read, "[T]he fact that [Hughey] is examining white savior films as a sociologist rather than as a film critic makes his a distinctive and valuable contribution both to studying cinema and to understanding the ideological formation of race in contemporary American society.... Even if one disagreed with that general diagnosis...it would be difficult to resist the force of the evidence in its favor that is marshaled here. The frames and themes that Hughey infers, both from the films and from responses to them, exemplify the mechanisms through which this ideology is made to function.... admirably comprehensive."

Constructing Muslims in France

Constructing Muslims in France
Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship
Jennifer Fredette

Reviewed on The Council for European Studies' Reviews & Critical Commentary website on November 25. The review read, "[A]n important contribution to scholarship on French Muslims and contemporary French citizenship.... [A] nuanced picture of contemporary discourses constructing French Muslims and an engaging analysis of the difficulties that these individuals face in different spheres of public life.... Constructing Muslims in France is very convincing, easily accessible, and thoroughly enjoyable. It is full of empirical examples that bring the French context alive for readers across the globe. This book will be of great interest to political scientists, sociologists, and legal scholars alike, as well as to anyone interested in issues of minority rights and discrimination."

The Outsider

The Outsider
Albert M. Greenfield and the Fall of the Protestant Establishment

Dan Rottenberg

Reviewed in the Philadelphia Inquirer on November 16. The review read, "With The Outsider, Rottenberg [shows how] Greenfield carefully managed his public image, from the time of his emergence as a real estate trader pledged to the corrupt Vare Republican political gang of the 1910s and '20s, through his emergence as a banking and retail baron and patron of FDR's New Deal, to his post-World War II national prominence."

The White Savior Film

The White Savior Film
Content, Critics, and Consumption
Matthew W. Hughey

Reviewed in the November 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "Hughey culls the most popular and profitable films of the last 20 years that deal with race in both subtle and overt ways, among them such blockbusters as The Blind Side, The Help, and Gran Torino. These and other films lay the foundation for Hughey's insightful, comprehensive critique of racial paternalism in US cinema and its broader implications in regard to race relations, social policy, and historiography.... [T]he study effectively probes the proliferation of the white savior in the US narrative and challenges filmmakers and audiences alike on the assumption that people of color must be rescued from their own circumstances, forced to assimilate, and managed in order to maintain white dominance. A cogent, well-written, and thoroughly researched book, The White Savior Film will have wide appeal across disciplines and particular interest for those in the humanities and cinema studies. Summing Up: Highly recommended."

Conceiving Masculinity

Conceiving Masculinity
Male Infertility, Medicine, and Identity

Liberty Walther Barnes

Reviewed in the November 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "[Barnes] states convincingly that in the 21st century, women still tend to be blamed more often than men for the failure to conceive, because an infertile man challenges the prevailing notion that reproductive prowess is a key component of masculinity. The historical analysis of the development of reproductive medicine provides interesting background information, and the interviews with employees of fertility clinics and with infertile men and their female partners provide insight into the experiences of infertility.... Barnes shows how gender can be defined and then redefined in order to preserve commonly held values about masculinity and femininity. Summing Up: Recommended."

Dominican Baseball

Dominican Baseball
New Pride, Old Prejudice

Alan Klein

Reviewed in the November 2014 issue of Choice. The review read, "Anthropologist Klein chronicles [the] changes [in MLB] by placing rich interviews of players, coaches, executives, and player developers (buscones) into the context of larger, structural forces. The author offers a unique perspective on identity fraud (e.g., underrepresenting a player's name or age), steroid use, player exploitation, and many other controversies stemming from the constantly evolving power struggle between the DR and MLB. In addition to providing an important anthropological voice to its subjects, Klein's research and analysis should be cataloged as part of the historical record of Dominican baseball.... Summing Up: Highly recommended."

Vigilantes and Lynch Mobs

Vigilantes and Lynch Mobs
Narratives of Community and Nation

Lisa Arellano

Reviewed in an essay on books about lynching narratives in the November 2014 issue of Pacific Historical Review. The review read, "Arellano is mostly interested in how lynching narratives, crafted by contemporary apologists and critics of lynching, form and function.... Based on the close reading of published and archival sources, Arellano constructs two ideal narratives that have shaped the public discourse on lynching during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.... Historians of lynching will agree that Arellano's ideal narratives epitomize the American lynching discourse."

The White Savior Film

The White Savior Film
Content, Critics, and Consumption
Matthew W. Hughey

Reviewed in the November 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "[R]ich with qualitative interview data, including individual interviews and focus groups varying in age and racial diversity. Hughey organizes his interview findings into themes and subthemes, making the data easily accessible.... This book would complement an undergraduate or graduate class on race or film, and make good reading for anyone who is interested in these types of films."

Mothers, Daughters, and Political Socialization

Mothers, Daughters, and Political Socialization
Two Generations at an American Women's College

Krista Jenkins

Reviewed in the November 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "Jenkins delves into issues of gender inequality, gender roles, generational differences, and the women's movement.... [She] explores how attitudes about gender, especially within the realm of politics, have evolved over a generation.... She does a wonderful job illustrating the ways in which the mothers and daughters today handle and process their experiences as women. This book is appropriate for courses on gender, feminism, and politics."

No More Invisible Man

No More Invisible Man
Race and Gender in Men's Work

Adia Harvey Wingfield

Reviewed in the November 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "In this well-researched and well-crafted book, Wingfield shines a light on the experiences of black professional men.... This book is a worthy continuation of this important line of gender research and the author adeptly adds both race and class as integral components of tokenism.... Overall, this is an excellent book that brings attention to an understudied population and does so with significant analytic heft."

God Talk

God Talk
Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion

Paul A. Djupe and Brian R. Calfano

Reviewed in the November 2014 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "What distinguishes God Talk, however, is not the empirical work comprising the body of the text, as useful as that may be in taking pulse of religion's involvement in certain contemporary political arenas. Rather, it is the care with which each experiment is designed and discussed, and the contextualizing of each within broader themes and ideas.... God Talk provide[s] intriguing and provocative findings.... [W]e can learn much from this book."

The Archival Turn in Feminism

The Archival Turn in Feminism
Outrage in Order

Kate Eichhorn

Reviewed in Vol. 42, Issue 3, 2014 of Archives and Manuscripts. The review read, "[O]ne of the most rewarding aspects of Eichhorn's book is its commitment to combining participant observation carried out in archives and special collections with interviews with archivists, librarians, researchers and donors.... Eichhorn's three case studies provide an illuminating account.... The Archival Turn in Feminism also provides a sophisticated grappling with the feminist archive's seemingly paradoxical mission.... Eichhorn's compelling investigations of the archive's complex field of cultural production (donating, collecting, cataloguing) give us a rare insight into the important intellectual and logistical work carried out by archivists and librarians, the book also tackles the trickier question of what is at stake, politically and culturally, for the future of feminism.... This is an original and perceptive book that provides an exemplary interdisciplinary model for future work on archives, all the while demonstrating the archive's central importance to the kinds of stories we tell about feminism's past, present and future."

Unbought and Unbossed

Unbought and Unbossed
Transgressive Black Women, Sexuality, and Representation

Trimiko Melancon

Reviewed in the October 20 issue of Publishers Weekly. The review read, "[A] critical analysis of five 'post-1960s black women's texts.' ... Perhaps most provocatively, Melancon concentrates on the transgressive sexuality present in all of these books... and asserts its importance to the authors' larger project.... [S]erious readers of African-American literature will value the innovative observations offered on the intersection of 'race, gender, and sexuality' in American life and letters."

America's First Adventure in China

America's First Adventure in China
Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation
John R. Haddad

Reviewed in the October 2014 issue of the American Historical Review. The review read, "Haddad characterizes the early years of U.S. involvement in China as an 'adventure,' and this book succeeds in providing a lively narrative of the years from the first American-Chinese trade contact in 1784 to the Burlingame Treaty in 1868. His approach is largely biographical, with vivid portraits of all the important players.... The first few chapters, from the earliest clipper ships and the Canton system through the development of a sophisticated China trade, are perhaps the most interesting, providing fascinating detail about the actual workings of the business, drawn from commercial records, private family papers, and secondary literature in American business history.... The general reader will find here a lively, entertaining adventure story."

Picturing Model Citizens

Picturing Model Citizens
Civility in Asian American Visual Culture

Thy Phu

Reviewed in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Asian American Studies. The review read, "What separates Picturing Model Citizens most distinctly from other recent scholarship on citizenship claims in Asian American photography...is [Phu's] deep engagement with the field of visual culture.... Picturing Model Citizens is a useful text for people studying Asian American history and culture and the history of U.S. photography, as well as for those interested in the philosophical and political stakes of theories of representation.... Overall, this is a valuable book, not just within Asian American studies and visual culture, but to all who are doing interdisciplinary, mixed-methods work in the humanities.... Phu's Picturing Model Citizens offers compelling, smart, and convincing arguments about not just what photographs mean in Asian American visual culture, but how they operate—especially in a social world that is hostile to minoritized subjects who appear as anything but 'good' citizens or 'bad' immigrants."

Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989

Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989
edited by Catherine Portuges and Peter Hames

Reviewed in the October 2014 issue of Slavonic and East European Review. The review read, "The book provides detailed information on a wide spectrum of film-related institutions, from funding arrangements to film festivals and the state of local cinema facilities.... [A]dmirable space is given to animation, documentary and experimental filmmaking, areas where significant work is being produced.... [T]he ideas offered here do justice to the impressive depth and extent of the factual material. This collection of densely researched, well-analysed studies offers a richly informative insight into a specific region that will be unfamiliar to many and also has much to contribute to broader discussions around globalization, film funding, the challenges facing small cinemas and the articulation of national and regional identity."

God Talk

God Talk
Experimenting with the Religious Causes of Public Opinion

Paul A. Djupe and Brian R. Calfano

Reviewed in the October 2014 issue of The Journal of Politics. The review read, "God Talk is an excellent introduction to the Religion and Politics (R&P) subfield of political science.... Whether the reader is new to the subfield or not, God Talk is an enjoyable and worthwhile read."

Softly, with Feeling

Softly, with Feeling
Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music

Edward Berger

Reviewed in the October 2014 issue of Jersey Jazz featured a review of Softly, with Feeling, which read, "Berger does an exceptional job of presenting Wilder's life story in a way that gives a clear picture of Wilder as a man and musician, and does do by placing his life in the sociological context that lends a deep understanding of the factors that influenced how his journey evolved.... Berger has done a magnificent job.... This work will stand among the best of jazz biographies."


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