Musically Speaking: A Life Through Song (Personal Takes)

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Musically Speaking: A Life Through Song (Personal Takes) [Hardcover]

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite her tone deafness, says Westheimer, an expert in the field of human sexuality, music has played a significant role in her life. In this touching and frequently witty account, Westheimer describes how particular melodies have been meaningful to her during both sad and happy times. As a 10-year-old Jewish girl in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1938, she was accepted as a refugee in a Swiss orphanage. Although she was spared certain death in Nazi Germany, Westheimer and the other refugees were regarded as second-class citizens by the Swiss and forced to do housework instead of getting an education. One of her outlets during this harsh childhood was to sing familiar Hebrew and German songs with the other children. Play-songs like "Backe, backe Kuchen" (Bake, bake a cake) that she sang while still attending school in Germany link her to the parents she lost in the Holocaust. In the Palestine kibbutz where the author lived after the war, Jewish Agency songs, written in Hebrew, are remembered as the soundtrack to her life. Westheimer loves American musical comedy and also greatly enjoys dancing: she recalls the night she startled the audience by getting up and dancing at an Elton John concert. Even though she admits she's not knowledgeable about composers or music theory, attending classical concerts is powerful and cleansing for her-and she expresses that experience nicely in this heartfelt memoir.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Touching and frequently witty."—Publishers Weekly

"Dr. Ruth sees music as a kind of conscience. Melody is something she has measured her life on. It's an extraordinary story, her story."—Bono

"Dr. Ruth shows us how and why music functions in her life, with lessons for all of us. A real gem of a book."—Wynton Marsalis

"A wonderful book, both moving and delightful. With her customary charm and brio, Westheimer shares with us how a life can be shaped by music. Brava!"—Zubin Mehta

"Who would have thought that when Dr. Ruth finally explained the rhythm method, she'd be talking about music? To read her is to know her, to know her is to adore her."—Harvey Fierstein

About the Author

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who pioneered the field of media therapy. She is author of 24 books. An Adjunct Professor at New York University, she also holds visiting appointments at Princeton and Yale.
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