HOSTAGE

MY NIGHTMARE IN BEIRUT

Here, Jacobsen, an American hospital administrator held hostage by the Islamic Jihad for 17 months, details the hell of captivity and questions the good faith of US efforts to free the remaining hostages. Writing with veteran author Astor (The Last Nazi, 1985, etc.), Jacobsen tells of his capture in May 1985 while director of the American Univ. of Beirut's Medical Center, and of his ensuing ordeal: his captors' petty humiliations (false promises of release; constant surveillance, even at the toilet); his frustration when Reagan broadcast a no-negotiation-with-terrorists policy; his terror when an American newscaster's speculation that Jacobsen was encoding secret messages in videotaped statements resulted in a savage beating. And he writes also of what sustained him and his fellow hostages: close friendship (in Jacobsen's case, especially with AP correspondent Terry Anderson, still held hostage after six years), plus faith and twice-daily religious services conducted by a hostage priest and minister. Throughout, Jacobsen questions US hostage and terrorism policies, arguing the urgency of saving the hostages and asserting that many rescue and negotiation options have been and are being ignored. (Released in November 1986 as part of the infamous arms-for-hostages trade with Iran, Jacobsen praises Oliver North and his cohorts for heroism.) The author also condemns the naked villainy of Islamic extremist groups, but fails to examine whether Mideast problems have any roots in US policies. An understandably angry, and effective, polemic/memoir, likely to catch the attention—and maybe even prick the consciences—of D.C. powerbrokers.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1991

ISBN: 1-55611-265-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Donald Fine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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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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