A factual but not particularly inspired biography of the author of Way Down Upon the Swanee River, Old Black Joe, Oh Susanna, etc. etc. The book is based on family letters and disputes or proves detatable points in previous biographies. There is but little feeling of the man himself, although you get the facts of his life. In spite of an urge towards music as a career, his family forced him to become a bookkeeper, and he did his composing on the side. Eventually some of the songs were published and he was able to make it his life work, bringing him adequate returns. In his later years he drank heavily and was estranged from his family. He died virtually a pauper. His place in the American scene is a vital one.