A small gem: still brilliantly alive and relevant.

THE CHERRIES OF FREEDOM

A REPORT

Intimate reflections from one of postwar Germany’s most admired novelists (Winterspelt, 1978, etc.) on life under Hitler and, in the act of deserting an army at war, his own profound emancipation.

Though controversial when first published in Germany in 1952 (the German government has never formally pardoned Wehrmacht deserters), current readers may wonder what fascination remains in ruminations on the Third Reich by a writer who, while a giant by his countrymen’s standards, had very little work circulated in English. Hulse’s foreword effectively piques curiosity, however, noting that Andersch’s force as a stylist is what transcends an undercurrent of compromise—he divorced his Jewish wife at her peril in 1943—that dogged even an admiring biographer. Andersch glosses over that incident but not his father’s (a WWI hero) Nazi connections as instrumental in getting him out of the Dachau concentration camp after being arrested as a Communist Party organizer in 1933. Though fluent in reflection on Communism’s futile agenda, Andersch would not forget the Nazis who “made the struggle of my youth meaningless and made an introvert of me.” Called into service twice during the war, Andersch finds himself an infantryman in Italy in 1944 with an almost comic-opera opportunity to desert. Therein lies, of course, a moral dilemma, resolved with the author’s achieving a conviction that no human being should be beholden to any system that requires following all orders without question. “All I had was the aesthetics of my art and my private life,” he writes, “and these they destroyed by calling me up. Take up arms—for them? Even to entertain the notion was an absurdity.” But persuade others to desert as well? “No,” says Andersch with searing finality, “I did not love my comrades in arms.”

A small gem: still brilliantly alive and relevant.

Pub Date: June 28, 2004

ISBN: 1-59264-052-4

Page Count: 90

Publisher: Toby Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2004

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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

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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

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