Between 1943 and 1959, the lyricist-librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) and his composer partner, Richard Rodgers (1902–1979), transformed American popular culture. Men of long experience in their field, they drew on patterns that had existed long before their birth: a sentimental love of the land; a passion for social justice, predicated on faith in the innate goodness of ordinary folk; a canny awareness of the comedy inherent in the basic human tropes of man and woman, parent and child, boss and underling; and an earnest reverence for the... More >>>