G.M. TREVELYAN

A LIFE IN HISTORY

A well-written if not wholly successful effort to revive the reputation of G.M. Trevelyan as a historian. There have been few more born to the craft of history than Trevelyan (1876-1962). A descendant of the English historian Lord Macaulay and the son of historian George Otto Trevelyan, he dedicated himself at an early age to the family tradition. ``The past,'' writes Cannadine (History/Columbia; The Pleasures of the Past, 1989), ``was his inheritance, his passion, his calling, his duty, his art.'' Trevelyan threw himself into it with all the Victorian virtues of his ancestors—stamina, self-discipline, and the appreciation, more common then than now, that history and literature are inseparable. His three-volume life of Garibaldi, his three-volume history of England in the Age of Queen Anne, and his English Social History enjoyed immense sales. In the latter book, he almost pioneered social history or, as he described it, ``the history of the people with the politics left out.'' Cannadine notes that Trevelyan's reputation has been in eclipse for some time: He reflected an earlier era in his belief that the function of history is to illuminate the present in the light of the past, and in his conviction that ``all novelists since Conrad are cads.'' But these ideas, Cannadine notes, arose from ``a mind of remarkable range, power, erudition and creativity,'' and were accompanied by a determination to get inside the minds of his subjects and to see their problems as they saw them. Cannadine doesn't persuade, though, in his attempt to show that Trevelyan's internationalism, constitutionalism, and feeling for the countryside were so emblematic of his era that ``the time in which he lived cannot be properly understood without reference to [his] life and work.'' Cannadine tries hard, but he fails to disprove Trevelyan's own dictum that ``historians, scholars and literary men who have led uneventful and happy lives, seldom afford great subjects for biographies.''

Pub Date: April 26, 1993

ISBN: 0-393-03528-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 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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