A composer and lyricist of enormous innovation and influence, Marc Blitzstein remains one of the most versatile and fascinating figures in the history of American music. A prominent leftist who was openly gay, Blitzstein constantly pushed the boundaries of convention in mid-20th-century America in both his work and his life. Drawing on interviews with friends and family of the composer, and making extensive use of archival sources, Howard Pollack's biography covers Blitzstein's life in full, from his childhood in Philadelphia to his translation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera, and from his open defiance of McCarthyism to his murder in Martinique at age 58.
"A timely and invaluable study of a composer we need to know more about. I marvel at Howard Pollack's capacity—as with his biographies of Copland and Gershwin—to digest and synthesize a wealth of information, copiously gathered."—Joseph Horowitz