(Limelight). In this book, Irving Berlin comes to life as a father, a husband and a friend as well as the most enduring and beloved songwriter of this century. We see his good times and his bad, his public life and his private one. Mary Ellin Barrett, Berlin's oldest daughter and the author of three previous books, puts her father's work into perspective and reveals the truth behind certain darker and more mysterious elements of the Irving Berlin no other biographer has understood. "The bulk of the memoir concentrates on the half-century of triumphs that began with Alexander's Ragtime Band and included White Christmas, God Bless America, and There's No Business Like Show Business. Touching, wise, gracefully written." The New York Times
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A truly wonderful book ¿ Barrett¿s descriptions of the homes and times of New York and Hollywood in the 20¿s, 30¿s, and 40¿s are a time traveling experience. Her descriptions are so precise that you feel you are transported and are there in the rooms with her. This is a rare feeling that I¿ve only experienced in a handful of books throughout my lifetime but it is truly wonderful. Barrett is the oldest daughter of composer Irving Berlin and it was refreshing to read about him in the role of a father. Her mother, Ellin Mackay was also an interesting person to read about, very talented, and worthy of her own book. She and Berlin were married for 63 years. The book is not only a must read for any Berlin fans but for those interested in New York life in the early part of the 20th century.