A meticulously researched educational tool, particularly for readers with a casual interest in Christian Science and LGBT...




A lifelong gay Christian Scientist explores his religion’s history and its largely uncharted, turbulent relationship with sexual minorities.

Mexico-based American journalist Stores (The Isthmus, 2009) looks at the controversial Church of Christ, Scientist, from the 1950s to the present day. Specifically, he tells of how the church, once devoted to outdated, exclusionary practices regarding gays, has come around to adopting a policy of leniency. Stores includes numerous profiles of intrepid, trailblazing gay activists who advocated changes within the church, such as defrocked Pentecostal Rev. Troy Perry Jr., who established the Metropolitan Community Church in the 1960s, and Chris Madsen, an outspoken lesbian cub reporter who was terminated from her position at the Christian Science Monitor in the 1980s due to her sexual orientation. Madsen’s story ignited a momentous scandal and lawsuit, which would rock the church’s steely foundation. Stores also presents profiles of several other people who wished to exclude sexual minorities from church membership, such as the staunchly anti-gay letter-writer Reginald Kerry and singer and LGBT rights opponent Anita Bryant. By offering such divergent viewpoints, Stores’ intelligent, thought-provoking narrative strives to “provide new frameworks in defining the place of sexual minorities in ecclesiastical institutions.” The author’s closing notes reflect the latest positive inroads, including pro–gay-equality activism by the author’s own son on the Christian Scientist Principia College campus. Ultimately, Stores’ narrative coalesces into a fair-minded look at the evolution of Christian Science’s stance on gay rights, the responses of its leadership and followers, and the hope for change.

A meticulously researched educational tool, particularly for readers with a casual interest in Christian Science and LGBT issues.

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2004

ISBN: 978-0595666584

Page Count: 274

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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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 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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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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