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Gary A. Rosen tells stories of dramatic and often uproarious courtroom confrontations, scandalous escapades of the rich and famous, and momentous clashes of powerful political, economic, and cultural forces from which the United States emerged as the world’s leading exporter of creative energy. Adventures of a Jazz Age Lawyer is not merely an engaging look at the life of Nathan Burkan, but a history of entertainment and intellectual property law in the early twentieth century. Rosen takes us on a fascinating romp through an era of American culture that promises new discoveries for anyone interested in the spirit of the Jazz Age.
"Adventures of a Jazz-Age Lawyer rescues a key figure in early twentieth-century popular culture from (relative) obscurity and tells his fascinating story with insight and style. I don’t know of anyone who writes more knowledgeably, penetratingly, and elegantly about popular music than Gary Rosen." —Ben Yagoda, author of About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made and The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song
“Gary Rosen is a born storyteller, and this is both a first-rate story and a previously untold one.”—Peter Jaszi, Professor Emeritus, American University Law School
“The book reads like a literary novel with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. Without trying to ‘analyze’ Nathan Burkan, Gary Rosen gives a clear and moving picture of his character, both his flaws and virtues. In the course of tracing Burkan’s career, Rosen provides fascinating historical background that includes such colorful characters as Victor Herbert, Charlie Chaplin, and Gloria Vanderbilt.”—Philip Furia, author of The Poets of Tin Pan Alley
“A lively, in-depth, and unprecedented portrait of Nathan Burkan, one of the most famous American lawyers of the twentieth century and a pioneer of intellectual property law. Gary Rosen presents Burkan as situated at the eye of a legal and cultural storm created by the advent of entertainment culture that Burkan’s legal brilliance and panache did so much to shape. This book is both a biography of an important legal figure and a history of jazz-age popular culture and entertainment law, all in one.”—Robert Spoo, author of Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain