Any biographical or critical work following so closely on the heels of Joan Peyser's Bernstein ( LJ 6/1/87) begs comparison. Gradenwitz, a friend of Bernstein, is perhaps too close to his subject to offer an objective view. For example, negative aspects of Bernstein's relationships with his mentors Reiner, Mitropoulos, and Rodzinski are not even mentioned. At times it seems that Gradenwitz is trying to build on the myth rather than construct an accurate image of the man. Despite these drawbacks the volume has some advantages: a good chapter on American music and more detailed analyses of individual works than are to be found in Peyser. While the volumes are somewhat complementary, librarians forced to choose should take Peyser. Robert W. Richart, Western Lib. Network, Olympia, Wash.