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As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin
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As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Irving Berlin (1888–1989) was unable to read or write music and could only play the piano in the key of F-sharp major; yet, for the first half of the twentieth century he was America's most successful and most representative songwriter, composing such hits as "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "Cheek to Cheek," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "White Chris ...more
Paperback, 702 pages
Published March 22nd 1996 by Da Capo Press (first published 1990)
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Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who respects real and brilliant songwriting
Recommended to Julian by: My father
Irving Berlin was really the start of what became known as the Golden Age of Songwriting that probably ended with Stephen Sondheim. The real McCoys who hated approximate or false rhyming, who really matched words perfectly to music, who had something to say, and who left us tunes that Ella and Frank delivered to make the hairs on your neck stand up. Irving Berlin kicked off the line that included the Gershwins, Kern, Rodgers, Hammerstein, Porter , Loesser, Warren, Van Heusen, Cahn, Arlen, Mercer ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it liked it
I was more than halfway through the biography of this American icon before I realized what was wrong with it. It wasn't the writing style, which in fact is terrific. It wasn't the depth of the research or the range of source materials, both of which are admirable. It wasn't even the hard-to-read typeface and horrible-quality photos of the Da Capo trade-paperback edition. What was wrong with As Thousands Cheer was that Laurence Bergreen had written for hundreds and hundreds of pages about Irving ...more
Sep 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Very detailed account of Irving Berlin's life. It was interesting and contained a lot of information about the theatre and the men and women who were on the stage and behind it. Very intense. There were inportant facts in each sentence. But I like the theatre and I like to read about the people who were artists and stars.
Feb 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Irving Berlin is my hero. I pick up this book every once-in-a-while. It is written with love and knowledge of Berlin.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Irving Berlin has no place in American music; he IS American music." That oft quoted statement by Jerome Kern captures how much of the world felt about this remarkable man who made such an incredible contribution to our musical landscape.

If you decide to read a Berlin biography, this one is well worth your consideration. As I read, I kept thinking that an alternate title for this book might have been "Irving Berlin and his World." The composer lived for 101 years and so there is a lot of time
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: bios
Good book, just very long. This is a very detailed account of Berlin's life and not much to question about the accuracy. The story runs along smoothly in chronological order without becoming tedious. There are a few sections that seemed to repeat, but overall a good read.
Scott Fuchs
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One. of a handful. of the most brilliantly written biographies I have read
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very well written bio.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Having sung a lot of Irving Berlin's songs, I was curious about his life. This book is VERY comprehensive, more comprehensive than I needed but I still enjoyed it. It was obviously very well researched.
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Laurence Bergreen is an award-winning biographer, historian, and chronicler of exploration. His books have been translated into over 20 languages worldwide. In October 2007, Alfred A. Knopf published Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, a groundbreaking biography of the iconic traveler. Warner Brothers is developing a feature film based on this book starring Matt Damon and written by William Monahan ...more
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