(Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)

Nobody writes as eloquently, knowledgeably, and page-turningly about the midcentury music heroes who sang - and lived - our American story as James Gavin. His biography of Peggy Lee immerses us in a singular life of radiant self-invention.
-Sheila Weller (author of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation)


“Eminently readable ... fascinating, suspenseful, musically detailed and insightful.” - Anita Gates, New York Times Book Review

 “Raucously entertaining ... full of evocative scenes, wry humor and exasperated sympathy ... an engrossing account of a singular talent.” – Publisher’s Weekly 

“A masterwork of balanced reporting, unflinchingly honest yet eminently respectful ... Gavin numbers among that rare breed of biographer capable of tremendous style and substance, meticulous about detail and accuracy yet blessed with exceptional storytelling élan.” - Christopher Loudon, MacLean’s (Canada)

“Gavin brings the music to life.” - Greil Marcus,
Barnes & Noble Review

 “Probing, perceptive.” - David Freeland, Wall Street Journal

 “A killer biographer ... Gavin makes you understand [Lee’s] disillusionment and gift.” - Tim Appelo, Hollywood Reporter (#2 of the HR’s Top 10 Music Books of 2014)

 “Comprehensive and immensely readable” - David Munk, Huffington Post

 “Lee led a captivating life full of pioneering moments and deep insecurities. With meticulous research, Gavin captures them all.” - Sarah Rodman, Boston Globe

 “With the same repertorial elbow grease and musical savvy found in Gavin’s biographies of Lena Horne and Chet Baker, ‘Is That All There Is?’ surges forth as an epic American saga.” - Gene Seymour, New York Newsday

"A consummate biographer ... Peggy Lee was anxious never to be forgotten and James Gavin has made this dream a realty." - Barbara Leavy, Cabaret Scenes

 “An engrossing biography … packed with more information about Lee’s life and success than I ever imagined.” – Robert O. Wefald, Bismarck Tribune

 “Painstakingly researched and beautifully written, ‘Is That All There Is?’ is at times touching, sad, disturbing, and hilarious.” - Bruce Klauber, Broad Street Review

 “As with his other biographies, the meat of ‘Is That All There Is?’ is Gavin’s adroit music writing and the dimension he brings to the details of Lee’s life. His command of the artistry and musicology in the worlds of jazz and Lee's contemporaries is first-rate.” - Lew J. Whittington, New York Journal of Books

Read TV and film commentator BOBBY RIVERS's review