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Splendid Spring Reading 2006: Phillip Roth’s “Everyman” “America’s Art” “Irving Berlin’s Show Business”

Book Review  



One is about growing old and coping and being terrified.

One is a celebration of the depth and diversity of the collection at the Smithsonian Art Museum.

One is a celebration of all that the words and music of one of America’s great composers has added to our culture.

All  are notable books that will enrich your heart and soul.

“Everyman” by Phillip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $24.00, 182 pages) is a slim volume. It is also a masterpiece by one of the great American fiction writers. Both painful and wonderful to read, “Everyman”  is all about the universal experience of coming face to face with mortality. Roth’s main character, grows up in Elizabeth, New Jersey,  the son of a kindly and well off jeweler. As he moves on in years “Everyman”  is perplexed by his own decline. He is also keenly affected by deaths of contemporaries and others he cared for deeply. This is just part of the poignant canvas of the book.   

There are scenes and language in “Everyman” that are haunting like the conversation the protagonist has with a black gravedigger. It takes place at the cemetery where he will be soon buried. His parents are already buried there.

Though “Everyman” may make you think thoughts you would care not to – it is an important and brilliantly written work of art that you must own.

“America’s Art: Smithsonian American Art Museum” (Abrams, $65.00, 322 pages) is a grand collection of images from one of the nation’s great art museums that has more than 40,00 works. This book celebrates the reopening of the Museum – and features 225 of the best of the best works.

To turn the pages is to re-live American art and history, to be there with the great artists and the fascinating subjects  - -  all such a special part of Americana.  If there was ever a book created to adorn your coffee table – this is the one.

“Irving Berlin’s Show Business” by David Leopold (Abrams, $50,00, 239 pages) is a love of a book about the great words and music man who began in Tin Pan Alley in 1907 and just kept going through the decades pumping out those glorious, gorgeous, moving, romantic, wistful, funny tunes. All of them get a place in this book – a book filled with anecdotes and images of the great American song writer.  A great gift book. A book to treasure.

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

About the Author:

Harvey Frommer is in his  38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to acclaim in 2011.  The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One. 

His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath, The Sporting News, among other publications.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
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Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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