Books

The American Musical
By Ben West
Routledge, 2022

The American Musical is a comprehensive history of an American art form; this book’s unique perspective, gleaned from research at more than twenty different archives across the United States, delivers a detailed and definitive portrait of the form’s artistic evolution over the course of its seven distinct, newly defined eras.

Tracing the form’s journey from the early 1800s to the turn of the 21st century, The American Musical provides a fresh perspective on the authors, creators, and craftspeople of the American musical and actively addresses the often overlooked female and African American artists present throughout its history. Individual in both its approach and coverage, the book also provides an in-depth discussion of outside influences such as vaudeville, nightclubs, ragtime, and soldier shows, while exploring the dynamic relationship between the form and the consciousness of its country.

This book is a fascinating and insightful read for students, artists, and aficionados of the American musical, and will be of interest to those with a curiosity about musical theatre more generally.


Midnight at the Winter Garden
By Ben West

Midnight at the Winter Garden is an in-depth portrait of one of Broadway’s most influential and illustrious nightclubs. In development.