This biography begins in 1844 when Peter Ilich was a youngster of four in Southwestern Russia where his father was a governmental inspector of mines. While still young his family took the trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow, along the way he heard the Volga boatmen. He was so sensitive that everything was immediately translated into music all his life. Readers will learn a great deal of Russian history from this book, in the first part the governess tells Peter Ilich about the past and all his life there were wars and revolution. His was a career of genius, hard work, pride and instability. There are thirty music plates, a complete opus list, a bibliography and list of recordings.