Dinner with Lenny: The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein, by Jonathan Cott, is a book I could not put down and read straight through. In fact, I read it a second time.
The last interview with Leonard Bernstein is an amazing accomplishment, both in writing, interviewing and in inspiration.
Leonard Bernstein’s words are profound, as was his life and career as a renowned composer, conductor, pianist and so much more. There is a little known fact: Bernstein was an activist for humanity, and always tried to instill humanistic values within his life and the lives of others. He was an educator, not only concerning music, but concerning the rights and lives of individuals who were repressed.
The interview is amazing in scope, spanning the life of Bernstein, spanning his many accomplishments, and spanning his ideals and ideas, from politics to pop music, to rock and roll. His outlook on religion is encompassed within the pages, as are some of the personal facets of his life.
Jonathan Cott has given the reader much to ponder regarding one of the greatest musical figures of the twentieth century. Leonard Bernstein’s words reflect honesty, humor, integrity, love of life and love of mankind. He was an amazing musician, but more importantly, an amazing person, whose kindness and fight for the rights of others will live on through the generations, not only through his music, but his humanitarian actions.
I highly recommend Dinner with Lenny, by Jonathan Cott.