The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II

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Product Details
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.23 X 9.48 X 2.4 inches | 3.85 pounds

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About the Author
Mark Eden Horowitz is Senior Music Specialist in the music division of the Library of Congress where he has been an archivist or co-archivist for the papers of Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers, Vernon Duke, Cole Porter, Frederick Loewe, Alan Jay Lerner, Leonard Bernstein and others. He is the author of the award-winning Sondheim on Music and served as the contributing editor for The Sondheim Review for ten years. He has taught the history of musical theatre at Georgetown and Catholic University.

[Hammerstein] wrote no memoir, so these letters are the closest we'll get to having Hammerstein reveal himself to us... -- Jeremy McCarter, The Wall Street Journal

No one who cares about what makes theatre work can miss this collection. -- Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

The best-of-the-best made it into the volume - letters that showcase not just the creative Hammerstein, but Hammerstein the businessman, the mentor, the activist, and occasionally, the corrector. -- Bob Mondello, NPR's All Things Considered

We're here to celebrate one of the most astonishing pieces of musical theater scholarship I have ever come across, and that is...the amazing book, The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein. -- Larry Maslon, NPR's Broadway to Main Street

Mark Eden Horowitz has given us a tremendous gift--this incredibly readable, lovable and fascinating compilation of letters, a detailed and revealing portrait of an American icon (not to mention one of my personal idols.) These hundreds of letters, both received and sent, have been painstakingly compiled, edited and annotated, and include letters to and from colleagues, critics, celebrities, total strangers and even a prissy lady grammarian. And are they ever priceless-- by turns hilarious, deeply thoughtful, generous, politically engaged and warm. I'm tempted to include quotes, some of which made me laugh out loud, but I won't. I'll let Oscar speak for himself. This book is a full meal to devour in small, delicious bites. To read his letters is to understand what it means to live a meaningful life, not only in our esoteric world of theater but also on Planet Earth. -- Lynn Ahrens, Tony-winning lyricist of Ragtime

This treasure trove of writings and letters from Oscar Hammerstein is an incredible deep dive into the heart and conscience of one of musical theater's most daring and original lyricists and librettists. Between this and Sondheim on Music, Mark Eden Horowitz' contribution to our art form is incalculable. What a gift. -- Lin-Manuel Miranda, award-winning songwriter, actor, director, creator of In the Heights and Hamilton

Oscar Hammerstein was not just the musical theater's wisest man but one of 20th century America's most civilized and humane public voices. Mark Horowitz's tender, meticulous collection captures this beloved writer in all his cockeyed optimistic splendor. -- Todd S. Purdum, author of Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution

What a generous man Oscar was. To write so many letters that actually went into detail about the art and the craft (and life itself) was a time-consuming job. Reading them makes me feel proud and privileged to have known him. And sad that he isn't around. -- Stephen Sondheim

Reading this remarkable collection of letters is like making the acquaintance of a bright, ambitious young man embarking on what he hopes will be a useful, successful career in the American theater then, as one reads, gradually becoming friends with a prodigiously gifted, deeply decent, thoroughly admirable man. When one reaches the end--of the book, and of Hammerstein's life--one feels both a profound sadness and a deep sense of gratitude for how much of that life, both personal and professional, Hammerstein has left behind in this volume. A wonderful resource for anyone interested in the history of the American theater. A wonderful read for anyone interested in the history of a uniquely consequential American life. -- John Weidman, librettist of Pacific Overtures, Assassins, Road Show, and Contact