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Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician. By Seldes Barry. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story. By Simeone Nigel. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2009. Working with Bernstein. By Gottlieb Jack. New York: Amadeus Press, 2010.

  • Paul R. Laird (a1)
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1 See Burton Humphrey, Leonard Bernstein (New York: Doubleday, 1994); Secrest Meryle, Leonard Bernstein: A Life (New York: Vintage Books, 1994); and Myers Paul, Leonard Bernstein (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1998).

2 Laird Paul R., Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Research (New York: Routledge, 2002).

3 The issue, “Leonard Bernstein in Boston,” was edited by Carol Oja. Journal of the Society for American Music 3/1 (February 2009).

4 Swain Joseph P., The Broadway Musical: A Critical and Musical Survey (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 205–46; Block Geoffrey, Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 245–73.

5 Swain and Block both cover the show's genesis, as does Banfield Stephen in Sondheim's Broadway Musicals (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993), 3138. Useful material also appears in Laurents Arthur, Original Story By: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), 327–69.

6 Oja Carol J., “West Side Story and The Music Man: Whiteness, Immigration, and Race in the U.S. during the late 1950s,” Studies in Musical Theatre 3/1 (2009): 1330. Two new books that also provide varied perspectives on West Side Story are Wells Elizabeth A., West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011), and Berson Mischa: Something's Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination (New York: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2011).

7 Garebian Keith, The Making of “West Side Story” (Toronto: ECW Press, 1995).

8 See, for example, the transcript of a 1985 Dramatists Guild symposium that included the participation of Bernstein, Laurents, Robbins, and Sondheim that appears in Guernsey Otis L. Jr., ed., Broadway Song & Story: Playwrights/Lyricists/Composers Discuss Their Hits (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1985), 4054. A useful interview with Carol Lawrence, the original Maria, appears in Burton William Westbrook, ed., Conversations about Bernstein (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 169–89.

9 Bushard Anthony, “From On the Waterfront to West Side Story, or There's Nowhere like Somewhere,” Studies in Musical Theatre 3/1 (2009): 6175.

10 For a discussion of Bernstein's reuse of material from West Side Story in Chichester Psalms (1965), see Laird Paul R., The Chichester Psalms of Leonard Bernstein (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2010), 5254, 101–25.

11 Jack Gottlieb, “The Music of Leonard Bernstein: A Study of Melodic Manipulations,” D.M.A. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1964.

12 Gottlieb, for example, is the author of the article “Symbols of Faith in the Music of Leonard Bernstein,” Musical Quarterly 66/2 (April 1980): 287–95; also see the first edition of his works catalog: Leonard Bernstein: A Complete Catalogue of His Works (n.p.: Amberson Enterprises, Publisher/Boosey & Hawkes, 1978). The catalog of Bernstein's compositions maintained by The Leonard Bernstein Office is now part of its Web site at

13 Chapin Schuyler, Leonard Bernstein: Notes from a Friend (New York: Walker and Company, 1992).

14 Peyser Joan, Bernstein: A Biography, rev. ed. (New York: Billboard Books, 1998; first published New York: Beech Tree Books, 1987).

15 Burton, Leonard Bernstein, 59–60.

16 “Wunderkind,” Time 69/5 (4 February 1957): 68–70, 72, 75.

17 The second movement of Chichester Psalms pointedly juxtaposes Psalms 23 and 2:1–4, a dramatic opposition of peaceful and violent texts, offering a possible interpretation as an antiwar message (Laird, The Chichester Psalms of Leonard Bernstein, 101–25).

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Journal of the Society for American Music
  • ISSN: 1752-1963
  • EISSN: 1752-1971
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-society-for-american-music
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