How the Beatles Changed the World

Martin W. Sandler. Walker, $20.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3565-2
Sandler (Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II) documents the ways that the Beatles left an indelible mark on international popular culture and the music industry, opening with the group’s U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, which he calls a “night that would change America.” Describing this and subsequent performances, Sandler captures the fanaticism of screaming fans, whose increasingly frenzied behavior eventually led the Fab Four to fear for their safety and precipitated their decision to stop touring and instead concentrate on recording albums. The author offers incisive commentary on the Beatles’ musical inspirations, experimentation, and evolution, incorporating quotations from the group members that illuminate their individual personalities. Substantial sidebars explore the group’s “musical firsts,” how the band got its name, the influence of “Beatles-boosting” American disc jockeys, and various places the Beatles made famous, including New York City’s Strawberry Fields and Liverpool’s Penny Lane. On-stage and behind-the-scenes color and b&w photos fill this appreciative and intelligent examination of the far-reaching effects of Beatlemania. Ages 10–14. (Feb.)■
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 02/04/2014
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