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<DIV></DIV><P>A sparkling and eye-opening history of the Broadway musical that changed the world</P><P>In the half-century since its premiere, <I>Fiddler on the Roof</I> has had an astonishing global impact. Beloved by audiences the world over, performed from rural high schools to grand state theaters, <I>Fiddler</I> is a supremely potent cultural landmark.</P><P>In a history as captivating as its subject, award-winning drama critic Alisa Solomon traces how and why the story of Tevye the milkman, the creation of the great Yiddish writer Sholem-Aleichem, was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and a cultural touchstone, not only for Jews and not only in America. It is a story of the theater, following Tevye from his humble appearance on the New York Yiddish stage, through his adoption by leftist dramatists as a symbol of oppression, to his Broadway debut in one of the last big book musicals, and his ultimate destination—a major Hollywood picture.</P><P>Solomon reveals how the show spoke to the deepest conflicts and desires of its time: the fraying of tradition, generational tension, the loss of roots. Audiences everywhere found in <I>Fiddler</I> immediate resonance and a usable past, whether in Warsaw, where it unlocked the taboo subject of Jewish history, or in Tokyo, where the producer asked how Americans could understand a story that is “so Japanese.”</P><P>Rich, entertaining, and original, <I>Wonder of Wonders</I> reveals the surprising and enduring legacy of a show about tradition that itself became a tradition.