Clive James has always been a great book reviewer, and he is at his best when he is giving his readers good reasons for going out and getting hold of the book under review. Here he is writing in this week’s edition of the Times Literary Supplement. about Artists in Exile by Joseph Horowitz:
…. Artists in Exile, always interesting, starts looking essential when it lights up like that, evoking a specific subject of the author’s enthusiasm with sufficient vividness to make the reader want to get in for a share of the delight. I would still recommend the Los Angeles Museum of Arts 1997 catalogue album Exiles + Emigres (published in conjunction with Abrams and edited by Stephen Barron) as a indispensable first book on the on the subject, but it is narrated by many voices, and there is always room for a single voice that knows how to register informed excitement, After all any big picture we might have started among the small responses, none of which seemed small at the time – each of them, in fact, was so all-consuming that it drove any question of a big picture clean out of our heads.
If the reader is sufficiently interested in the subject, (in this case what happend to the European peforming artists who, who because of war and revolution, fled to America) then he probably won’t need to know much more than what Mr James has told hm in that partgraph him to realise that Horowitz’s book is now essential reading.
Artists in Exile by Joseph Horowitz