Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

by Joseph Epstein
3.5 4
ISBN-10:
0300158440
ISBN-13:
9780300158441
Pub. Date:
09/29/2009
Publisher:
Yale University Press

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Overview

Fred Astaire

Joseph Epstein’s Fred Astaire investigates the great dancer’s magical talent, taking up the story of his life, his personality, his work habits, his modest pretensions, and above all his accomplishments. Written with the wit and grace the subject deserves, Fred Astaire provides a remarkable portrait of this extraordinary artist and how he came to embody for Americans a fantasy of easy elegance and, paradoxically, of democratic aristocracy.

Tracing Astaire’s life from his birth in Omaha to his death in his late eighties in Hollywood, the book discusses his early days with his talented and outspoken sister Adele, his gifts as a singer (Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Jerome Kern all delighted in composing for Astaire), and his many movie dance partners, among them Cyd Charisse, Rita Hayworth, Eleanor Powell, and Betty Hutton. A key chapter of the book is devoted to Astaire’s somewhat unwilling partnership with Ginger Rogers, the woman with whom he danced most dazzlingly. What emerges from these pages is a fascinating view of an American era, seen through the accomplishments of Fred Astaire, an unassuming but uncompromising performer who transformed entertainment into art and gave America a new yet enduring standard for style.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300158441
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 09/29/2009
Series: Icons of America Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 841,791
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................xi
ACT ONE Like Kissing Your Sister....................1
ACT TWO Peculiar Looking....................21
ACT THREE Man Makes the Clothes....................35
ACT FOUR A Litvak Passes Through....................45
ACT FIVE Charmed, I'm Sure....................53
ACT SIX The Other Guy....................61
ACT SEVEN What's It Their Business?....................75
ACT EIGHT Who Needs a Partner?....................87
ACT NINE Change Partners....................99
ACT TEN Must You Dance, Every Dance....................131
ACT ELEVEN And I Trust, You'll Excuse My Dust....................151
ACT TWELVE Dancing on Radio....................167
Bibliographical Note....................189
Index of Names....................193

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