Audiences knew him for four decades as The World's Greatest Entertainer. Now Herbert G. Goldman gives us the definitive biography of this quintessential star of the musical stage. With a sure eye for the revealing anecdote, Goldman chronicles each step of Al Jolson's colorful life from his early struggles with his brother, Harry, on the vaudeville and burlesque circuit and his rise to stardom on Broadway; through his glory at the pinnacle of national fame, which came with his appearances in the movies The Jazz Singer (the first talking picture ) and The Singing Fool; to his final round of appearances in 1950, entertaining American troops in Korea just before his death. Goldman explores the complexities of the Jolson personality, as revealed in his four stormy marriages and his relations with family, business associates, friends, and enemies. Exhaustively researched and well-rounded, this beautifully-written biography offers a vivid portrait Jolson the entertainer--a man of the stage whose exuberant optimism and magnetic energy enthralled three generations of audiences.