A stirring recollection and an insightful national history.



A memoir recounts one man’s wretched experience under tyrannical rule in Afghanistan.

Khaled Siddiq’s family was renowned throughout Afghanistan for its patriotic ardor. Khaled’s grandfather Ghulam Haidar Khan Charkhi was a respected general who fought in the Anglo-Afghan Wars, and all four of his sons, including Khaled’s father, Ghulam Siddiq Khan Charkhi, became important government figures. They participated in Prince Amanullah Khan’s project to aggressively modernize Afghanistan, which included diplomatic relations with European nations, the abolition of slavery, and greater freedom for women. However, after Amanullah was overthrown in 1929 in a coup orchestrated by religious fanatics, Khaled’s family was savagely punished for their loyalty to him. His uncles were murdered, and the rest of the family was placed under house arrest in Kabul and eventually exiled to Sarai Badam, where they lived in squalid conditions. When Khaled and his brothers reached puberty, they were sent to prison—a harrowing experience that’s vividly described here by debut author Adam Siddiq, Khaled’s grandson. He lived in that prison for nearly 15 years and was placed under house arrest for another five following his release in 1945. He found good work as a translator and got married, but he longed to see his father, who lived in exile in Berlin. When Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1979, Khaled realized he had no choice but to move his whole family to Germany to save their lives. Siddiq composed this moving remembrance in collaboration with his grandfather, and the entire account is told in first person from Khaled’s perspective. The story, told in precise but moving prose, is often achingly beautiful—a stirring mix of sadness and inspiring triumph. Along the way, Siddiq limns an astute history of the country of Afghanistan that focuses on 40 of its most turbulent and formative years. The book includes black-and-white photographs of Khaled and his family as well as the reproduction of important correspondence in full. It all combines to create an intensely personal memoir whose political and moral dimensions have universal relevance and appeal.

A stirring recollection and an insightful national history.

Pub Date: Dec. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-946852-00-7

Page Count: 308

Publisher: Lineage Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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