A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Selection
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Economist and Kirkus Reviews
An "extraordinary" biography that "in its breadth . . . reminds me of nothing so much as Robert A. Caro's The Power Broker" (New York Review of Books).
Harvey Sachs's "monumental" (Alex Ross) biography recounts the sixty-eight-year career of conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), an artist celebrated for his fierce dedication, photographic memory, explosive temper, impassioned performances, and uncompromising work ethic. Toscanini collaborated with Verdi, Puccini, Debussy, and Richard Strauss; undertook major reforms at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera; and eventually pioneered the radio and television broadcasts of the NBC Symphony. His monumental achievements inspired generations, while his opposition to Nazism and fascism made him a model for artists of conscience. In this "persuasive and compelling" new biography, Sachs illuminates the "crucialthe centralrole Toscanini played in our musical culture for well over 60 years" (New York Times Book Review). Set against the roiling currents of twentieth-century Europe and the Americas, Toscanini is a "necessary" portrait of this "complex, flawed, but noble human being and towering artist" (Wall Street Journal) whose peerless influence reverberates today.