In his polemic, Nobel laureate Solzhenitsyn is becoming more fanatical with each foray down from his Vermont mountain. His single-mindedness is here set on the distinction between the organism that is Russia and the disease which affects it, Soviet Communism. Reprinted from the Spring 1980 issue of Foreign Affairs, this short diatribe is directed at scholars, correspondents, and even Soviet émigrés who conspire, albeit unwittingly, in a specious blurring of this distinction. Solzhenitsyn's attacks on the likes of Harvard's Richard Pipes for creating the myth of the Russian character—whether understood as docile or aggressive—are well taken; but Solzhenitsyn is in the myth business himself. Ignoring the other peoples of the USSR, Solzhenitsyn's dream is of a purified Russia left alone with its ancient orthodoxy—purged, of course, of the atheistic communist heresy. Responding to his critics, Solzhenitsyn denies being a reactionary or a mystic, or even anti-Semitic (he simply believes in the return of Russian Jews—a misnomer, in his view—to their homeland, Israel). The reactionary side is there, though, in his idealization of pre-Bolshevik Russia, as yet untainted by the West's materialism, where toleration and Christian principles supposedly reigned supreme, an idealization that carefully ignores blemishes like orthodox-inspired pogroms or the cruel illiteracy of the vast peasantry and their domination by the Church. Solzhenitsyn's organic nationalism lays behind his dogmatic rhetoric, however much obscured.

Pub Date: June 18, 1980

ISBN: 0060908823

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1980

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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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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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