An eclectic and thought-provoking collection of Taruskin's published criticism, each original followed by an updated piece covering the time between the original essay and the publication of the present volume. The title essay alone is worth reading and re-reading and focuses on societies and social movements that have banned or severely restricted music. Taruskin has a wealth of knowledge of western art music (and, it seems, every other subject he encounters), which makes for intense and engaging albeit dense reading.
"Taruskin's work is a major contribution to thinking about music in the broadest sense. The book is lucid, powerful, varied, self-aware, and courageous. It is the very best work being done today, not just in musicology, but in any discipline."--Michael Beckerman, author of New Worlds of Dvor k