Magazine September 9, 2019, Issue

The American Songbook

A dress rehearsal of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story at the 2003 Bregenz Festival, Austria (Miro Kuzmanovic/Reuters)
In the hurly-burly of politics, we usually don’t stop to note our simple, unadorned love of the things that make this country so marvelous. That’s what we’ve asked our contributors to our latest special issue, "What We Love about America," to do.

If, at the end of time, nations are summoned before a divine tribunal and asked to present their greatest contributions to world culture, Austria will cockily throw down Mozart and Schubert; Germany will proffer Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, just for starters; Poland, undaunted, will invoke Chopin; Italy, France, and Spain will bring their own musical geniuses. Then all eyes will turn expectantly — perhaps skeptically — to the U.S., which will saunter coolly up to the bar and spill out the boundless cornucopia that is the American Songbook, that decades-long explosion of astoundingly fecund melody, propulsive energy, mesmerizing rhythm, urbane

In This Issue

What We Love About America

U.S.

American Men

American men — with few exceptions — treat you like a human being, in a free, natural way, because they’ve done it from the nation’s youth.

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Recommended

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