THE LAST STAND

THE WAR BETWEEN WALL STREET AND MAIN STREET OVER CALIFORNIA'S ANCIENT REDWOODS

A mesmerizing, blow-by-blow account of Pacific Lumber's hostile takeover by Charles Hurwitz, and the ecological battles it engendered, from journalist Harris (The League, 1986, etc.). Scotia was a drowsy company town in northern California, the pride of Pacific Lumber and its owners, the Murphy family. The company took care of its own—it educated the kids through college, nursed the sick, provided work and security and entertainment (though the whorehouse did close in the 1920s). It also practiced two unusual lumbering techniques: sustainable yield (cut never to exceed growth) and selective cutting (never cut more, and often less, than 70% of a parcel). There may have been a dark side to company life, though Harris doesn't identify any, and regardless, PL was no chop-and-flee operation; they were in it for the long haul. Enter Hurwitz, corporate raider, buyout artist, general sleazeball. Harris gives a detailed account of the vile doings behind the stock takeover (with such creatures as Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, and Dennis Levine involved, it had to be ugly); the stunned then angry response of company millhands, fellers, and buckers; and the actions taken by local environmentalists to try to stop Hurwitz once he had jettisoned PL's sustainable yield and selective cut traditions. (Of course, Hurwitz needed to cull all the most ancient groves to pay for the junk bonds. He also grazed lustily on the pension fund.) Harris tells the story with the sly, creeping urgency of a good thriller, shot through with the shame of this willful destruction of a thriving community. And Hurwitz is still at it, somehow avoiding the tube ride that sent Boesky et al. to the slammer, though many of his old-growth cuts are stymied by lawsuits. Arresting, first-rate reportage from the deep woods.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8129-2577-7

Page Count: 388

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1995

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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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