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About the Author: James R. Gaines

James R. Gaines is an American journalist, author, and international publishing consultant who is best known as a magazine editor. He was the chief editor of Time, Life, and People magazines between 1987 and 1996 and subsequently the corporate editor of Time Inc.

Gaines is a graduate of the McBurney School in New York City and the University of Michigan. His career in magazine journalism started at the Saturday Review, followed by Newsweek and People, where he was named managing editor in 1987. He was both managing editor and publisher of Life, the first time that one person held both the chief editorial and publishing jobs at a Time-Life magazine. His reinvention of Life as a weekly news magazine for the first Persian Gulf War won widespread acclaim and led to his appointment to the editorship of Time, making him the first person ever to run three Time-Life magazines. All three won important journalistic awards during his tenure and undertook important extensions: a television show and books program at People, network specials and custom publishing at Life, and at Time a classroom edition called Time for Kids and Time Online. In his first assignment as a publishing consultant, he founded a brand extension in the men’s luxury category for American Express Publishing titled Travel & Leisure/Golf. Based in Paris, he has since advised publishers in Europe and the Middle East as well as the United States. He has four children, three of which reside with him in Paris.

Gaines is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Historical Association, the Society of Eighteenth Century Historians, the Overseas Press Club, and the International Federation of the Periodical Press.

Other books by James R. Gaines

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Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment by

Goodreads rating: 4.05

Paperback, Published in Feb 2010 by Harper Perennial

ISBN10: 0007153937 | ISBN13: 9780007153930

Page count: 336

In one corner, a godless young warrior, Voltaire’s heralded ‘philosopher-king’, the It Boy of the Enlightenment. In the other, a devout if bad-tempered old composer of ‘outdated’ music, a scorned genius in his last years. The sparks from their brief conflict illuminate a turbulent age.

Behind the pomp and flash, Prussia's Frederick the Great was a tormented man, son of an abusive king who forced him to watch as his best friend (probably his lover) was beheaded. In what may have been one of history's crueler practical jokes, Frederick challenged ‘old Bach’ to a musical duel, asking him to improvise a six-part fugue based on an impossibly intricate theme (possibly devised for him by Bach's own son).

Bach left the court fuming, but in a fever of composition, he used the coded, alchemical language of counterpoint to write ‘A Musical Offering’ in response. A stirring declaration of faith, it represented ‘as stark a rebuke of his beliefs and world view as an absolute monarch has ever received,’ Gaines writes. It is also one of the great works of art in the history of music.

Set at the tipping point between the ancient and the modern world, the triumphant story of Bach's victory expands to take in the tumult of the eighteenth century: the legacy of the Reformation, wars and conquest, the birth of the Enlightenment. Brimming with originality and wit, ‘Evening in the Palace of Reason’ is history of the best kind – intimate in scale and broad in its vision.

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