Alex Ross graduated from Harvard in 1990. He wrote for the New York Times from 1992 until 1996 when he became staff writer at the New Yorker. His first book, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, won the Guardian First Book Award. It was also shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of Listen to This. He lives in Los Angeles.
'Ross does a good and very full job in tracing the obsession of different times and places, and the intellectual flavour each wave took ... excellent, and extraordinarily thorough' Philip Hensher, Spectator 'An absolutely masterly work ... A miraculous synthesis. Ross's writing is an art that conceals art, propelling the reader on and on' Stephen Fry Wagnerism is as magnificently realized as it is monumentally ambitious, a cultural history of the modern world that Richard 'Wagner and his protean art helped mightily to create ... Ross is the ideal guide: lucid, astoundingly erudite, scrupulous, generous, profound, objective and engaged, and enormously entertaining' Tony Kushner, playwright of Angels in America 'Wagnerism is a hugely exhilarating read, and a virtuoso feat of scholarship and supple writing: Ross is such a companionable guide, connecting ideas so casually and unspooling stories so fluidly that you can almost lose sight of the ferocious erudition that undergirds every page. I can't think of a better or more profound work about the long, complicated shadow of cultural influence' Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Say Nothing 'For those who love Wagner, this book is obviously heaven. But Wagnerism goes far beyond the man himself, using its subject to springboard into a breathlessly entertaining and dizzyingly diverse survey of art, politics and culture over the past century and a half. Ultimately, it's a book about how humans are inspired by art, and like all of Alex Ross's writing, it bottles that strange lightning and inspires us in turn' Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi and Knives Out 'Wagnerism is itself a masterpiece a breathtaking achievement' Hilton Als, author of White Girls