Well, I planned to write a review when I finish this book completely, but I feel an urge to write now... I just finished Part II, that describes the period of 1933 to 1945 - the most tragic period of XX century. What is shocking is how close was music to politics of all sorts. The figures of Richard Strauss or Anton Webern on the one side and Shostakovich or Prokofiev, and their close relations to Nazis and communist regimes - is just horrifying. Honestly, before reading this incredible book I was unaware how abused was (maybe still is ....) music by politicians....
What is even more shocking is that some composers in US were also not very far from ideological streams. The book describes some ties, that great US composer, Ruth Crawford Seeger, had with
leftist Popular Front organisations.
I will write longer review when finished, but as for now, I can only write - it's a great book, but it shows something that I did not notice in my long life of music fascinations - how deep can sometimes be the link of art and dirty politics.... How it is today with great music ???