Anderson is a uniquely country personality, and that personality shines through.

WHISPERIN' BILL ANDERSON

AN UNPRECEDENTED LIFE IN COUNTRY MUSIC

A genial account of a gentleman musician’s life in and around Nashville.

They don’t make them like Whisperin’ Bill Anderson (b. 1937) anymore, though, as co-author Cooper (Country Music History/Vanderbilt Univ.) suggests, it is the coda to his career that has made it extraordinary, “the most thrilling, exhilarating, and unprecedented part of his journey.” By 1980, Anderson had been considered washed up, on the verge of bankruptcy, and hurting physically, his success as a songwriter and as an unlikely performer of his own songs long gone. Yet a decade later, he began a resurgence as a co-writer with younger artists such as Vince Gill and Jon Randall, enjoying a success that not only rivaled his former songwriting glory, but earned him far more in royalties, as country music royalties were far more lucrative than they had been during Anderson’s 1960s heyday. Country fans know Anderson as the writer of “City Lights,” a big hit for Ray Price when Anderson was still a college journalism student, and for his own hit recording of “Po’ Folks,” which became the name of his band and led to an adventure in restaurant franchising that almost left him broke. Some know of his pivotal role in the careers of Connie Smith and others and maybe even how he helped establish the popular Fan Fair as a Nashville tradition. Though Cooper has established himself in the first rank of country journalists and historians, Anderson’s voice is what makes this narrative so distinctive, as he recounts how he was “happier than a pig in a mud puddle” when he landed his first job at a radio station and was so flustered around women that he “didn’t know whether to wind my watch or take a bubble bath” when a pretty one asked him to dance. There are also plenty of anecdotes about the rigors of touring and the process of writing hit songs.

Anderson is a uniquely country personality, and that personality shines through.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8203-4966-4

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Univ. of Georgia

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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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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