By Howard Pollack
Genre: Early pop, Classical
However, the rating for readability would have be lower; maybe three stars. It isn't because it is bad writing. In fact, Pollack is quite good. But he is a bit dry. The book soon becomes a "And then he wrote" or "And then he met". It's hard to see anyone but a true Gershwin fan wading through this epic tome. There are some excellent chapters especially the several on "Porgy and Bess" but overall it is just too much information for the average reader.
These two considerations, readability and research, can be bridged. I recently read an excellent biography on Thelonious Monk that was both highly detailed and highly readable but Pollack doesn't quite achieve the balance.
So three stars for readability. Five stars for academic excellence. Let's split the difference and call it four stars.
Background CD: Leonard Bernstein & the New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue / An American in Paris