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Book Cover for: Yankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan and the Broadway Stage, Elizabeth T. Craft

Yankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan and the Broadway Stage

Elizabeth T. Craft

Playwright, composer, actor, director, and producer George M. Cohan looms large in musical theater legend. Remembered today for classic tunes like "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Give My Regards to Broadway," he has been called "the father of musical comedy," and his statue stands in the heart of the New York theater district. Cohan's early twentieth-century shows and songs captured the spirit of an era when staggering social change gave new urgency to efforts to define Americanism. He was an Irish American who had the audacity to represent himself as the Yankee Doodle emblem of the nation, a vaudevillian who had the nerve to unapologetically climb the ranks and package his lower-brow style as Broadway.

In Yankee Doodle Dandy, the first book on Cohan in fifty years, author Elizabeth T. Craft situates Cohan as a central figure of his day. Examining his multifaceted contributions and the various sociocultural identities he came to embody, Craft shows how Cohan and his works indelibly shaped the American cultural landscape. Informative and engaging, this book offers rich reading for Broadway musical aficionados as well as scholars of musical theater and American cultural history.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publish Date: May 24th, 2024
  • Pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780197550403
  • Categories: Theater - Broadway & MusicalsEntertainment & Performing Arts

About the Author

Elizabeth T. Craft is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Utah.
Praise for this book
"In true virtuoso style, Elizabeth T. Craft exquisitely weaves together various threads of the personality that was George M. Cohan - playwright, songwriter, performer, Irish American, businessman, self-publicist, Broadway mythmaker - to create a brilliantly nuanced tapestry that illuminates and celebrates her subject's extraordinary contributions not just to the American musical theatre but also to continuing perceptions of nationhood, patriotism, and identity." -- William A. Everett, Ph.D., Curators' Distinguished Professor of Musicology Emeritus, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory

"Craft gives us a multi-faceted Cohan who loudly played his patriotic Irish American self to audiences both on and off the stage. Always both appreciative and critical, this deeply researched book puts a largely forgotten figure where he belongs: at the center of the Broadway musical stage during its formative years." -- Todd Decker, Paul Tietjens Professor of Music, Washington University in St. Louis

"Elizabeth Titrington Craft, in illuminating the life and tunes of George M. Cohan, outlines the roots of so many musical theater branches that continue to flourish today. A compulsively readable addition to the history of musical theater." -- Lin-Manuel Miranda