I found this book reasonably entertaining, approaching, you might say "attacking", Duke Ellington from a psychologizing angle. Interesting. Few people ever really knew Ellington, and the ones who did didn't talk much about him, at least not in any revealing way. And the man was clearly an affable narcissist, with a tendency to be passively cruel to band members and some family members. If this personality hadn't existed, Thomas Mann would have invented him, with a little help from Freud. And of course there's nothing wrong with taking a figure so frequently deified down a couple of pegs. So the author's tack seemed, for the nonce, acceptable.
Unfortunately, I noticed quite a few oddities, in dates, attribution of composer credit, and elsewhere. I also wondered how this guy could have interviewed all these old timers, this late in the era. And I'd never heard of a trombonist of this name who played with Benny Carter, Luis Russell etc. in the Forties. And though I'm a thorough Ellington fan and personal admirer, I'm no scholar. So I had to wait till I stumbled on the "brief" by Steven Lasker, who is a scholar, to realize what a hoax this book is. Stick "depanorama stratemann lasker lawrence routledge" into the google search engine. You'll get a issue of the Duke Ellington Music Society bulletin from late 2001. Read it before you buy this book.
Routledge didn't originate the contract on this book. They bought it from some other outfit. Routledge used to be a standard issue publisher of unreadable academic jabber of the paramarxist school, parasitizing on English universities. In the last few years they've tried to break into the American popular market. Hence opportunistic stuff like this.
There's a Duke Ellington industry out there, appealing to scholars, musicologists and plain enthusiasts of good music. So there are bogus reissues on CD and preposterous books like this. The same thing happens with Mark Twain; you come to expect it. But damn Routledge for getting involved in the seamy side of it as they scramble to find a place in the dwindling high end market.