Erwin Stein is a pupil of Schoenberg; his selection of letters from 1910, when the composer was in his thirty-sixth year and already established, with his twelve tone scale in action, to the time of his death in 1951, is informed by appreciation and understanding. Accompanied by biographical notes and a list of works, each of the five sections chronologically reveals the man and the composer. They carry him from pre-World War I Vienna, where he suffered anti-Semitism, to Germany, a haven that became another hell, to France and then America, where he held the post of Professor of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles for some years. The letters disclose a man of vigor, heart, determination that his own worth and that of others be recognized and respected. He encouraged his student Alban Berg, had a long wrangle with painter Kandinsky over the Jewish problem, was on cool terms with Thomas Mann, requested Otto Klemperer to cease performing him when his work became ""alien"" to him, chided Olin Downes on his criticism of Mahler, instructed Thor Johnson on the performance of Currelieder...The book closes with four letters to Mahler written in 1909-10 expressing Schoenberg's veneration for the older composer, whose widow he continued to write down the years. A successful self-portrait, certain to find its place in the gallery of musicians.