The Humble Beginnings of Israel Electric Corporation, Revealed

Camels at Reading and cooking without a flame: Which musician complained to the IEC about being served a cold meal? And who pledged not to drink tea between 9 A.M. and midday?

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A few months after Israel’s founding and a decade before he conquered Broadway with “West Side Story,” Leonard Bernstein had a less-glamorous situation to cope with. In a letter dated October 6, 1948 and...