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Artists in Exile: How Refugees from Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
During the first half of the twentieth century—decades of war and revolution in Europe—an "intellectual migration" relocated thousands of artists and thinkers to the United States, including some of Europe's supreme performing artists, filmmakers, playwrights, and choreographers. For them, America proved to be both a strange and opportune destination. A "foreign homeland" ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by Harper (first published February 1st 2008)
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Eric
Apr 26, 2009 Eric rated it liked it
Shelves: music, criticism
This is one of those suggestive, compendious, richly anecdotal cultural histories that are impossible to summarize. Suffice to say that Horowitz provoked me to rehearse everything I've ever thought about American Life, dum dum dum!

Horowitz's focus is not entirely on the performing arts--he writes briefly but significantly about Thomas Mann and Vladimir Nabokov. His discussion of those two writers, in the book's coda, ties up what for me was the most interesting theme: the difference between the
...more
Charles Matthews
Dec 06, 2009 Charles Matthews rated it liked it
Give us your talented, your proud, your harassed geniuses yearning to breathe free….

That’s not how Emma Lazarus put it, but it’s pretty much the invitation extended to European artists by American orchestras, theatrical and opera impresarios and film studios in the period from the Bolshevik Revolution to World War II. In “Artists in Exile,” Joseph Horowitz documents the profound effect these immigrants – especially Russians and Germans – had on American culture. And how the American experience c
...more
Dan
May 22, 2008 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: cultural-study
I cannot comment authoritatively on Horowitz's writing with regard to the composers, conductors and dancers he discusses, as I am unfamiliar with their works. However, I am familiar with some of the films and directors he writes about, so I was able to follow his commentary on the work of directors like Lang and Murnau somewhat more closely, and found this part of the book very interesting reading.
Kathleen Hulser
Oct 03, 2008 Kathleen Hulser rated it really liked it
Probe into the roots of American culture. Seems like we need cultural others to show us ourselves. The local talent for synthesizing various cultural streams is at the center of this book, which has a transnational perspective that sometimes makes you wonder if the American artists are exiles too. By collecting evidence from across the spectrum of the performing arts, Horowitz underlines the formally productive nature of American borrowing.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 08, 2009 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, read2010
A detailed history of how immigrants and refugees contributed and formed the arts in the United States - covering dance, film, art, music, and theater. It really focuses on the first half of the century, with a few dips into the 60s and 70s, and most of the 'refugees' profiled are from Europe and Russia. Note that it is 'performing arts,' so art, poetry, and novels are excluded.
Robin
Jul 28, 2010 Robin added it
art,history,migration
Imre Sutton
This book and the one by Crawford overlap but do review several different musical and artistic personalities, so that both books are worth reading.
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