Books That Inspire 2001

Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America
Lawrence W. Levine

As a musician the majority of my time is spent practicing my instrument. As a result, reading is a luxury. I must choose the books I wish to read with great care. Highbrow/Lowbrow was a gift from my sister who is a cultural historian. I am so thankful she gave me this book because it transformed my attitude about being an artist in the United States today. It was shocking to discover that at one time in this country every citizen (no matter what social status) could quote from Shakespeare and was familiar with the Beethoven symphonies. This book will shame all artists and the institutions that support them to make their works truly accessible to everyone once again. It will also inspire the average American to seek out the rich culture that this country has to offer and demand that it be available for all rather than only those who can afford it. The good news: reading is still an affordable educational pastime. Take advantage of it!
Valarie Watts
Assistant Professor Music