From the vast amount of Bach scholarship, including his own earlier studies of Symbolism in the Music of Bach and The Bach Family, Geiringer has distilled an excellent critical introduction to the man and his work; this is popularization at its very best. Geiringer's remarks on Bach's life are particularly attentive to Bach's musical milieu; and he correctly notes that Bach's genius lay in welding the tendencies of his time into a single unity. In discussing the music, Geiringer avoids analogies and romantic claptrap for solid, relevant, and readable analyses of the important pieces, all of which makes the reader aware of the precise components of Bach's genius. The bibliography is as comprehensive as the book. Geiringer's prose is plain and efficient.