Consistently surprising and richly entertaining.

1973

ROCK AT THE CROSSROADS

An astute observer of popular culture takes a granular look at 12 months of music that reflected “the aftermath” of the preceding cultural revolution.

In a natural follow-up to 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music (2015), Los Angeles–based music writer Jackson examines another pivotal year in popular music, when radio programmers figured out how to commodify “ ‘album-oriented rock’…[which] soon segregated rock from other genres that once spurred its evolution.” There’s all sorts of intriguing cross-pollination going on in the author’s rollicking retrospective of 1973, a year that some may consider unexceptional. However, Jackson’s expansive exploration obliterates such notions. On one hand, 1973 was a remarkable year for celebrated acts to produce some of their most seminal works, including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, The Who’s Quadrophenia, and Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies. On the other hand, 1973 was also an exceedingly fertile time for exciting new artists to burst on to the scene—Bruce Springsteen with Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.—and for others to break away from the confines of their home countries and garner a more global audience (Bob Marley’s Catch a Fire). The title aside, Jackson demonstrates a determination to be musically inclusive. “Fifteen of the year’s nineteen No. 1 albums were rock albums,” writes the author. “In 2018, only eight out of the forty-one No. 1 albums were rock.” Though Jackson dives deep into AOR radio, he makes it clear that 1973 was also about outlaws Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings upending the country music scene; superstars Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye revolutionizing the Motown sound; Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell defying genre norms; and much more. As the year turned over, the top song in the country was Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle.” A month-by-month selected timeline helps readers situate the events discussed in the book.

Consistently surprising and richly entertaining.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-29998-7

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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