LENIN IN ZURICH

This excerpt from Solzhenitsyn's projected multi-volume work on the Russian Revolution shows Lenin stewing in Switzerland during World War I, from 1914 to the spring of 1917, when, with the assistance of the German government, he returned to Russia to turn the liberal February Revolution into a Bolshevik seizure of power. Solzhenitsyn's Lenin is a pudgy, compulsive, humorless fellow, chronically frustrated by finances and colleagues. Interior monologue—which lacks the genuine empathy of Solzhenitsyn's earlier fiction—depicts his vexed relationship with French revolutionary Inessa Armand (his lover) and with his wife Natalya, who "stayed, determined never to stand in his way. Never to show her hurt. To train herself not to feel it." Solzhenitsyn also suggests that Lenin, while ruthless, was no creative architect of revolution but found himself caught off guard by events and prone to failures of nerve. It was the intriguer Parvus who, on behalf of the Germans, really made things work. The details of the German connection are the fruit of Solzhenitsyn's detective work; he claims to have discovered major new evidence in Zurich, though his bibliography cites only standard primary and secondary sources. Despite Solzhenitsyn's determination to reduce Lenin to small, neurotic size, the book is good fun as historical reconstruction and an intriguing installment in the writer's effort to prove that the Russian Revolution was a vast misfortune.

Pub Date: March 15, 1976

ISBN: 0370106075

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1976

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more