This paste-up of aphorisms, punditry, and Joycean puns takes a few cliches and splices them with McLuhanist motifs and updatings. "Brainstorming," the fad of the '50's; the hoary "managerial revolution" said to supersede old-fashioned profit criteria; the "end of ideology" cant — these are spruced up with day-glo reflections on the Cornfeld-conglomerate-bullish period whose demise the authors conveniently overlook. If taken seriously, the book is insulting in its illiterate — oops, grating — references to Keynes and its "post-industrial" platitudes: electronics has made specialization and efficiency obsolete; employer and employee "merge as audience"; data-processing erases blue-white collar distinctions; money "as such" has become "information only"; and (for those curious about the subtitle) "aware executives" will become generalists. The hyperbole would be forgivable if it didn't exaggerate stale misconceptions about prosperity and automation and cybernation ending social conflict and the survival-oriented way of life for business and labor — i.e. the American sociological orthodoxy of the '50's and early '60's. This is only worth noting because McLuhanism is considered somehow essentially avant-garde, though of course its trendy bloom has faded. In fact, it has elements of classic conservative-reactionary ideology — for example, continued efforts to epater the analytic mind; doctrinal praise for the "oral" and "acoustic" over the "visual"; and the trite but telling equation of the "tribal," the "non-literate," the non-rational, and the unconnected. McLuhan himself is not reactionary in any obvious sense; rather he's a good-natured celebrant of "the new software information age" as opposed to the hard, grubby industrial society he says has vanished, taking the new strobe-light atmosphere for a new order (or disorder) of things.

Pub Date: April 19, 1972

ISBN: 0151878307

Page Count: 326

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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