The American Musical
By Ben West
Published by Routledge
Released on April 1, 2024

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The American Musical is a comprehensive history of an American art form. It delivers a detailed and definitive portrait of the American musical’s artistic evolution over the course of seven distinct, newly defined eras, with a unique perspective gleaned from research at more than twenty different archives across the United States.

Individual in both its approach and coverage, The American Musical traces the form’s creative journey from its 19th century beginnings, through its 20th century maturation, and to the turn of the 21st century, shedding new light on a myriad of authors, directors, and craftspeople who worked on Broadway and beyond. This book actively addresses the form’s often overlooked female and African-American artists, provides an in-depth accounting of such outside influences as minstrelsy, vaudeville, nightclubs, and burlesque, and explores the dynamic relationship between the form and the consciousness of its country.

The American Musical is a fascinating and insightful read for students, artists, and afficionados of the American musical, and anyone with an interest in this singular form of entertainment.