This is not a bad overview of American popular music. Mr. Clarke is clearly a jazz fan who regards the days of Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, et al. as the high point from which we have declined, and sees the present state of commercial popular music as a "culture of musical impoverishment." The career of A&R man Mitch Miller, the evil genius whose venality and lack of taste was a landmark in adult pop's precipitous decline in the 1950s, is touchingly portrayed. I think Clarke's conclusions are correct; however, this is a matter of taste to some degree. Many will think differently, no doubt. Read it anyway, along with Will Friedwald's history of Jazz Singing.