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Todd S. Purdum is the author of An Idea Whose Time Has Come and b. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico, having previously worked at The New York Times for more than twenty years, where he served as White House correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, and Los Angeles bureau chief. A graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Dee Dee Myers, and their two children, Kate and Stephen.
"Affectionate and richly researched. . . . Something Wonderful offers a fresh look at the milieu and circumstances that contributed to the creation of some of the musical theater's greatest and most enduring treasures. . . . In giving us access to the world that gave birth to them, Purdum's authoritative and ultimately moving book brings these masterpieces to life with bracing clarity."--The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) "A veteran political reporter, Purdum goes moonlighting to delightful effect in Something Wonderful. His journalistic skills are evident in this affectionate tribute to the team that rewrote the rules for American musical theater. Something Wonderful is thoroughly researched and briskly written, seamlessly blending a chronological narrative of the productions with cogent analyses of their effect on American culture."--The Washington Post "Todd Purdum's skillful dual biography...strips away the accretions of time and reputation to retrieve the craft and dynamism with which his subjects created a new kind of musical."--The Economist "A revelatory portrait. . . detailed and sharp."--Time "Fresh. . . . A neatly proportioned study . . . perhaps most helpful [in] reminding us of the bold breadth of the business--in the broadest sense--of the Rodgers and Hammerstein partnership" [whose] "melodies . . . ventured sprawlingly across the planet, all day and deep into the night." --The Wall Street Journal, lead review "Purdum is a lifelong fan of musical theater, and that passion shows in 400 pages that fly by in double-time. . . . [He] has a gift for scene painting, making us feel like we're in the room when some of the most memorable moments in musical theater history take place. . . . Such a pleasure to read."--DC Metro Theater Arts "[A] delightful new book. . . . Broadway magic if anything is, and Todd Purdum has given readers the most elaborate and entertaining exploration of that magic they're ever likely to read."--The Christian Science Monitor "A fresh and revelatory look at the personalities of these legendary figures, their relationship with each other, their creative process, and their groundbreaking innovations....Full of illuminating anecdotes about the biggest stars of the day....A celebration of the lives and legacy of one of the most iconic partnerships in artistic history, sure to please anyone who loves musical theater." --Broadway World "This brisk and lively biography of the greatest team in musical-theater history remains happily focused on what matters most: the shows. . . . A solid, affectionate description of artists who look more important today than at any time since, oh, 1945."--BroadwayDirect.com "Unapologetic in its appreciation of the team's talents but inclusive enough to consider their darker moments as well."--Dallas News "Readers will learn the stories behind the music and how this most successful of writing duos crafted some of the finest musicals to grace the American stage...Something wonderful, indeed." --Booklist (starred review) "Joyous, brisk, and gossipy...An exuberant celebration of musical genius." --Kirkus Reviews "Purdum's anecdote-filled account is a sterling primer on the influential duo, both for newcomers to their work and to those looking to rekindle an old flame." --Publishers Weekly "A scrupulously researched and infinitely fascinating history of the collaboration of Rodgers & Hammerstein--two giants who propelled the musical theater to uncharted heights. Todd Purdum acknowledges the contribution of directors, orchestrators, composers of incidental music, designers, and performers who helped produce the seamless integration that influenced those of us who were their disciples. His book is a fair-minded appreciation of these gods but acknowledges that they had feet of clay. It is an impressive addition to the literature celebrating the American musical theater." --Harold Prince "Rodgers and Hammerstein drew pictures, made lists. They understood and rewrote the longings of the heart. My favorite of their songs happens to be the book's title: 'Something Wonderful.' I have sung it live, on stage, on recordings, and with the man I felt the same way about. I love the intimacy of the stories Todd Purdum tells--he shows himself to be especially sensitive to Oscar Hammerstein's special connection with Richard Rodgers." --Carly Simon "Before there was Netflix and Hulu, some of the most gifted writers on the cultural landscape wrote beautiful and clever songs. And of the composers who bundled those songs together to accompany a story and thus gave us the Broadway musical, none have had more of an impact on the genre, or the business, than Rodgers and Hammerstein. Todd Purdum's book is a piece of American history you should devour, as nothing tells us about our times and ourselves quite like our songs." --Alec Baldwin "Engaging. . . . A lively, sometimes gossipy narrative."--Forward "A reminder in these tribalized times that musical theater, once so central to our culture, is still vividly alive - and that the art's twin titans, Rodgers and Hammerstein, still matter deeply. Clear, precise, and passionate, this is a necessary book, and even better, one that is a joy to read." --James Kaplan, author of Frank: The Voice and Sinatra: The Chairman "Come backstage...It's all here in Purdum's book. From describing the real-life moment that inspired 'Some Enchanted Evening' to detailing the drafts for 'Edelweiss, ' Purdum has produced Something Wonderful indeed."--BookPage