THE AMERICAN EAGLE

THE ASCENT OF BOB CRANDALL AND AMERICAN AIRLINES

An extravagantly adulatory appreciation of Bob Crandall, whose world-class executive talents have enabled American Airlines to survive, if not thrive. Drawing on apparently open access to his subject's company and its top brass, Reed (who covers commercial air transport for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram) focuses on Crandall's career at American. After joining the carrier in 1973 (at age 38) as chief financial officer, Crandall took almost immediate wing, moving up through a succession of increasingly responsible posts to the presidency in 1980 and the chairmanship five years later. Along the way, Crandall contributed significantly to the development of a breakthrough computer-based reservation system that brought travel agents into the loop, helped American weather the storms of deregulation, and beefed-up so-called ``hub-and-spoke'' flight operations. A tough, innovative competitor, Crandall also settled price-fixing charges (stemming from an ill-advised phone conversation with his opposite number at Braniff) and incurred the enmity of organized labor by pioneering two-tier wage scales for pilots, mechanics, et al. But though he's a master of the game when it comes to aggressive expansion and controlling overhead expenses, Crandall has never had much luck in keeping fares at consistently profitable levels. Indeed, his vaunted Value Plan came an instant cropper last year. Reed nonetheless gives him an ``A'' for effort on this and a flock of other projects, all but ignoring the bleak realities facing airline operators in the unfriendly skies of global as well as domestic markets. Although Crandall is arguably the air-transport industry's dominant personality, the author fails to offer enough big-picture perspectives (e.g., indications that his subject may be fighting a losing battle) to raise the airline executive's curriculum vitae above the level of corporate hagiography. A wasted booking. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen)

Pub Date: June 10, 1993

ISBN: 0-312-08696-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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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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