Most helpful critical review
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Scholarly and Informative, but dull.
on September 25, 2009
This book is a very scholarly approach to the era of the all-female swing bands during WWII. As the book is careful to point out, the all-female bands were already thriving and in existence before WWII, but with the soldiers going off to war they became a sort of musical version of Rosie the Riveter. The wealth of information on the female bands contained in this book is beyond compare. I saw two major drawbacks in the book, however. First of all, one gets the impression that this is the first time the author has ever encountered people from a previous era and from a previous mindset. She seems quite shocked that they prefer to be called All-Girl bands rather that her more politically correct, All-Woman bands. In fact, she goes into great detail for several paragraphs about how it must be reflective of a different mindset and so forth. Secondly, due to her prolonged belaboring anytime there is a quote or comment or hint of something that she doesn't consider in accord with modern thought, the voices and experiences of the women themselves are not brought to the forefront. They all sound like women with fascinating stories to tell. But she doesn't let them tell it. What the author does is dwell on sociological issues, racial issues, feminism issues, and other academic type issues rather than tell the story of the All-Girl bands. I found this to be a prime example of why so often academic works are an unbelievably tedious read. I would love it if a more popular version of this book were to be issued.