In a vivid, detailed, and powerful depiction of political and cultural life in Berlin from before WW I to 1938, Gill (The Journey Back from Hell—not reviewed, etc.) conveys the passion, diversity, energy, as well as the waste, rage and alienation that inspired the art, the politics, and ultimately the Second World War. Gill details the warring artistic ideologies of the time with an intensity equal to that with which he treats the political clashes: the nihilism and discontent of Dadaism; the architecture of Gropius and van der Rohe; the experimental art of Kandinsky and Klee; the obscurities of poets and novelists such as Rilke and Mann; the social commentary of playwrights such as Brecht and Weil; the film industry, which was reborn in a city where the air is ``like a dry white wine''; and the sense of possibility and novelty created by a remarkable concentration of talent that included publishers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts of all stripes. Behind the glamour of all that creativity, however, there was a level of decadence, that was reflected in a preoccupation with sex, crime, and suicide, exploited in the press, and captured so brilliantly in Isherwood's Good-bye Berlin. The cultural diversity included the rioting lower classes, the politically dispossessed trade unions, the displaced Russian emigrÇs (Stanislavsky, Eisenstein, Gorky, Pavlova), and the Jews, who were prominent in the sciences, the universities, and the entertainment industry until shortly before 1933, when Hitler initiated the campaign of anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust. Against the great cultural background and the creative individualism of the artists, the emergence of Hitler is all the more sinister. While scrupulously maintaining his documentary perspective, Gill reveals the conditions that generated those crucial concerns about art and politics with which contemporary societies—the free and the unfree—are still preoccupied.

Pub Date: April 15, 1994

ISBN: 0-7867-0063-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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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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