Music in the Age of Anxiety offers an engaging, lively, and thought-provoking examination of a diverse range of musical styles prevalent in 1950s America. This fascinating book is accessible for students and general readers, even as Wierzbicki offers new insights that will be of interest to specialists as well.--Gayle Sherwood Magee, author of Charles Ives Reconsidered
"Wierzbicki takes on the difficult task of linking all musical genres from 1945 to 1960 to the neurosis of the era… The author successfully demonstrates the impact of social change upon Fifties music in a well-written and engaging way. Recommended."--Library Journal
"It's unbelievable, looking back now almost sixty years, that there was once a time that so many different kinds of music could thrive, even claim priority status, at the center of the American musical mainstream.Â The œfifties were extraordinary years of conformity and rebellion, a contradiction reflected in nearly every genre of music.Â Not everyone might analyze these contradictions the same way, or emphasize the same causes or trends.Â But whether or not you always agree with the analysis you will marvel at the vast landscape that James Wierzbicki masterfully surveys here.Â I defy anyone to read this book without coming away with a greater sense of the issues surrounding music ™s production and consumption during this decade, its staggering array of now timeless treasures in every genre, its immense boldness and variety, and its lasting effects." --Michael V. Pisani, Vassar College
"This very readable book is filled with many perceptive connections between music and cultural, social, and political activities of the 1950s. Wierzbicki is to be especially commended for his mastery of many sources and the way he has woven them together."--Michael Broyles, author of Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music
About the Author
James Wierzbicki teaches musicology at the University of Sydney. His books include Film Music: A History and Elliott Carter .