A lively biography of three wild men whose story spans the history of the American stage during the first half of the century. These virtually illiterate sons of a peddler were responsible for over 600 theatrical productions on all levels of taste (the brothers had none) and exerted a control over the theater unequalled before or since. Starter Sam rose quickly to the top and died young; Jake, limited by an unhappy, unstable personality, still enjoyed fifty years of success. But it was the fantastically avid and energetic Lee who was the heavyweight light opera-tor, kept the New York stage alive almost singlehandedly during the Depression. All three were money raising geniuses, ethical when convenient, equally capable of generosity or chiseling. Their battles with the Syndicate, Equity, ASCAP, Ziegfeld, Georgie Price, all critics and each other make up most of the story. The infighting gets confusingly similar after a while and Mr. Stagg might have been more selective with his material (there are far too many accounts, for example, of Lee's endless lawsuits). Still it's instructive entertainment and the style and tone are appropriate to the subject.