Here, in a spirited account, is the story of that imposing building on New York's 57th Street, West. Home of great orchestras, scene of incredible fiascos, gathering place often of the lunatic fringe, Carnegie Hall stands as a monument to a millionaire benefactor who believed that the poor should be kept in their place but aided. And in later years the nassive brown building has become a symbol to the aspiring artist of ultimate success and acceptance. Richard Schickel, a wry and superbly informed commentator, describes the many seasons of Carnegie Hall, the genius- and the absurd-who have made it internationally famous. There is a heartbroken Mahler striving to impress musical sanity on a group of insipid lady trustees, the irrepressible Florence Foster Jenkins making her debut as a coloratura at the age of seventy-six, Isadora Duncan tripping about the large stage in her loose fitting obes, and Bernstein, the young man with a beat who is as at home with jazz as he is with ach. A delightful, nostalgic, and critical text for the initiated, The World of Carnegie all is a treasure chest of musical and biographical intelligence, a beacon in a New York those landmarks tumble and whose horizon shifts.