A remarkably incisive account of an endlessly compelling figure.

INTREPID'S LAST SECRETS

THEN AND NOW: HISTORY, SPIES AND LIES

A revisionist history of the infamous Canadian spy William Stephenson that focuses on the fascist enemies that he encountered in Allied territories.

The historical legacy of spymaster Stephenson has long been a confusing one. Some historians consider him a minor player in the clandestine machinations of World War II; others believe his contributions were inestimable in value; and still others don’t comment on him at all. As former teacher and journalist Macdonald (The True Intrepid, 2011) observes, it surely didn’t help that Stephenson lied to authors and reporters about the details of his own life. With astonishing meticulousness, the author sets out to fill in these lacunae, starting with Stephenson’s early years in Manitoba, Canada, where he became a successful entrepreneur. He established his own industrial espionage group in the mid-1930s for business purposes, and by 1939, he was in contact with Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. Stephenson was eventually sent to New York City as a so-called passport control officer, where he ran his own organization, the British Security Coordination, whose aims were to undermine the Axis powers as well as homegrown fascist groups working to undermine the Allies in the United States and England. Macdonald follows American historian Carroll Quigley’s research closely as he shines a light on these groups, which included such institutions as the Council on Foreign Relations, which he contends was working against President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Macdonald’s study is not only rigorously researched, but also conveyed in cinematic terms—and as a result, even unconvinced readers will find themselves riveted. Over the course of the book, the author draws on so much tangled evidence, including hearsay and rumor, that the work has the air of a conspiracy theory at times. However, his argument is relentlessly thorough, and his principal contentions seem plausible. Finally, Macdonald makes a ringing case for exploring a nation’s past: “A country with unexamined history is a country without a soul.”<

A remarkably incisive account of an endlessly compelling figure.

Pub Date: July 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5255-2413-4

Page Count: 552

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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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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