Here is first-hand information about one of the world's greatest conductors, written by a musical critic who knew him well for a span of ten years. The volume is an unlimited paean of praise, justified by the biographer's claim that Toscanini's reputation rests not on being a ""creative"" conductor, but in his projection into the composer's mind and soul. He paints a varied life, from a childhood in a village near Parma, son of a tailor, student days as 'cellist, and the chance that precipitated him into the conductor's place in Rio. Opera performances -- concerts -- Italy -- New York -- Berlin -- Vienna -- Baireuth -- Salzburg. He made front page news in his stand on the Nazi question. There is little that is intimately personal -- rather is it an appreciation, and an interesting record of a phase of operatic history. The style is at times rather naive, rambling, disjointed, but the subject matter will interest music lovers everywhere.