* Jonathan Rosenberg Reads and Signs "Dangerous Melodies"

On Saturday, January 25, at 3:30 pm, Jonathan Rosenberg will read and sign his new book Dangerous Melodies: Classical Music in America from the Great War Through the Cold War at Bronx River Books.  

A Juilliard-trained musician an professor of history explores the fascinating entanglements of classical music with American foreign relations.

Dangerous Melodies vividly evokes a time when classical music stood at the center of twentieth-century American life, occupying a prominent place in the nation’s culture and politics. The work of renowned conductors, instrumentalists, and singers—and the activities of orchestras and opera companies—were intertwined with momentous international events, especially the two world wars and the long Cold War.

Jonathan Rosenberg exposes the politics behind classical music, showing how German musicians were dismissed or imprisoned during World War I, while numerous German compositions were swept from American auditoriums. He writes of the accompanying impassioned protests, some of which verged on riots, by soldiers and ordinary citizens. Yet, during World War II, those same compositions were no longer part of the political discussion, while Russian music, especially Shostakovich’s, was used as a tool to strengthen the US-Soviet alliance. During the Cold War, accusations of communism were leveled against members of the American music community, while the State Department sent symphony orchestras to play around the world, even performing behind the Iron Curtain.

Rich with a stunning array of composers and musicians, including Karl Muck, Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Kirsten Flagstad, Aaron Copland, Van Cliburn, and Leonard Bernstein, Dangerous Melodies delves into the volatile intersection of classical music and world politics to reveal a tumultuous history of twentieth-century America.

Jonathan Rosenberg is a professor of twentieth-century US history at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His previous books include How Far the Promised Land?:  World Affairs and the American Civil Rights Movement from the First World War to Vietnam and (together with Zachary Karabell) Kennedy, Johnson, and the Quest for Justice: The Civil Rights Tapes. Professor Rosenberg lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Event date: 
Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Event address: 
37 Spencer Place
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Dangerous Melodies: Classical Music in America from the Great War through the Cold War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393608427
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 10th, 2019