This is the story of jazz as it has never been told before: from the inside out. In this vivid history of jazz, a respected critic and a leading scholar capture the excitement of America's unique music with intellectual bite, unprecedented insight and the passion of enthusiastic fans. They explain what jazz is, where it came from and who created it and why, all within the broader context of American life and culture. From ragtime and blues to the international craze for swing, from the heated protests of the avant garde to the radical diversity of today's artists, "Jazz" describes the travails and triumphs of musical innovators struggling for work, respect and cultural acceptance set against the backdrop of history, commerce and politics. With photographs by Herman Leonard, "Jazz" is also an arresting visual history.