Before there were feminists, there was Agnes De Mille, an independent courageous woman in a man's world, one of the pioneering figures in modern dance. Along with Balanchine, she began with one (ballet) shoe in Broadway, and another in conventional dance. When theater dancing evolved into something more demanding than a line of shapely chorus girls all stepping together to strict rhythm, Agnes was there to do it better, simply and effectively. Her enormously popular but revolutionary dream ballets, an essential and organic part of telling the story for Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" and "Carousel," set the language and grammar for every choreographer that followed her. She did the same for the folk-melodies of Aaron Copland, creating truly American ballet that celebrated the natural vigor of a new country. (Since then, there has never been a Western ballet anywhere in the world that in some way doesn't imitate her language.) In this book, Agnes tells her story from the bottom to the top--she came from a theater family that produced the more famous C.B. (DeMille), but she made it on her own. An American saga well told.